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Black History Month Resources for Educators

Black History Month Resources for Educators

As classrooms and school districts across the nation kick off their 2023 Black History Month celebrations, let us remember the urgency and importance of teaching Black history beyond the month of February. The histories, stories, and voices of Black people should be centered, honored, and uplifted in school curricula every day.

Rooted in the San Diego County Office of Education Equity Blueprint for Action and its foundation of socially conscious leadership, this resource is designed for leaders who seek to serve, inspire, and empower.


Elementary Resources Middle and High School Resources For Educators

Socially Conscious Leadership

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Asset-Based Systems

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Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Instruction

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Family and Community Voice

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Student Agency and Voice

It is our mission to invite educators to explore their own intersecting identities, analyze their mindsets, and hone their skills. We seek to create equity-centered, asset-based systems by implementing and sustaining positive changes that benefit those we serve. Our efforts are focused on creating equitable access with consistently strong outcomes for all students, paying special attention to the needs of historically marginalized populations. This resource guide will center and uplift the struggles, triumphs, and excellence of the Black community by providing information and resources to support the celebration of Black History Month.

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Elementary Resources

Curricular Resources

Video Resources

In order for educators to really value our experience as a Black learner, they have to learn how to value our experience as Black people first.
- San Diego County student

black history month celebrating the rich cultural history of our country in february

Black History Month Interactive Presentation

Pomona Unified School District shares this interactive Black History Month presentation featuring videos, virtual tours, lesson plans, web-based resources, and much more. 



Centering Black Joy

If teachers uplifted the joys, inventions, and contributions we’ve made, it would make a huge difference.
- San Diego County student

Nine Picture Books Illuminating Black Joy

  • Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, written by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James
  • A Girl Like Me, written by Angela Johnson, illustrated by Nina Crews
  • Jayden’s Impossible Garden, written by Mélina Mangal, illustrated by Ken Daley
  • Max and the Tag-Along Moon, written and illustrated by Floyd Cooper
  • Me & Mama, written and illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera
  • Ruby’s Reunion Day Dinner, written by Angela Dalton, illustrated by Jestenia Southerland
  • Saturday, written and illustrated by Oge Mora
  • Seeing Into Tomorrow: Haiku, by Richard Wright, biography and illustrations by Nina Crews
  • The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter, by Shabazz Larkin
books spotlighting black joy

17 Middle Grade and YA Books That Spotlight Black Joy

  • Rebound by Kwame Alexander
  • Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Garcia-Williams
  • The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon
  • From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks
  • Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia
  • Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds
  • Love Double Dutch! by Doreen Spicer-Dannelly
  • Shuri: A Black Panther Novel by Nic Stone
  • My Life As an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi
  • The Mamba Mentality: How I Play by Kobe Bryant
  • A Phoenix First Must Burn: Sixteen Stories of Black Girl Magic, Resistance, and Hope by Patrice Caldwell, ed. Viking
  • The Voting Booth by Brandy Colber
  • Now That I’ve Found You by Kristina Forest
  • Charming As a Verb by Ben Philippe
  • All the Things We Never Knew by Liara Tamani
  • Given by Nandi Taylor
  • Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Middle and High School Resources

Curricular Resources

Video Resources

  • Black History is American History, Okalani Dawkins (video below)
  • The History of Black History Month, Good Morning America (video below)


I want to see my culture and history represented in the curriculum because it’s important not only for me to learn about my history, but others as well.
- San Diego County student

For Educators


My Ideal Bookshelf has created a graphic illustration of the top books to read to support adults in their anti-racism journey. Check out the book checklist as well as the young adult literature selections as well.

Teaching Resources

Resources for Families

the black families' guide for talking about racism you matter so much by naomi o'brien & lanesha tabb

How to Celebrate Black History Month with Kids

White parents, it's time to do the work honoring Black history

The Black Families' Guide for Talking About Racism


Discussing Intersectionality

Queering Black History by Rethinking Schools

Queering Black history means lifting up the stories of Black LGBTQ people. It means resolving that not one more student earns about the I Have a Dream speech without learning about Bayard Rustin, the man who led the planning of the March on Washington — at least not on our watch. It means really learning about him: knowing his contributions to the Civil Rights Movement, reading Time on Two Crosses right next to The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr., having discussions in our classrooms and on our social media about Letter from a Birmingham Jail while also discussing why Bayard Rustin too was arrested, how he was relegated to the background by his peers, and what we must do to prevent that from ever again happening in the Black freedom movement.

Additional Reading


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More to explore

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Profile of Dr. Matthew Tessier assistant superintendent of Innovation

Dr. Matthew Tessier has joined the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) as assistant superintendent of innovation, building on organizational efforts to eliminate bias and create opportunity, as well as expand offerings at the Linda Vista Innovation Center and offer professional development for school leaders and staff.