Black History IS American History

Three Saturdays: January 16, 23, and 30
Institute will be offered virtually through Zoom (synchronous).

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Grade: K-9
Hours: 11am - 5:30pm Eastern Standard Time
Featuring: Arlène Casimir, Sonja Cherry-Paul, Colleen Cruz, Marie Mounteer, and authors from the TCRWP/Candlewick Black Creators Series, including Carole Boston Weatherford and Kekla Magoon
Payment: Purchase orders for this institute can be made out to: Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, 525 W 120th Street, Box 77, New York, NY 10027

In the TCRWP/Candlewick Black Creators Series, Carole Boston Weatherford said, “Children want the truth. Children deserve the truth. And children can handle the truth.”

Too often Black History Month is limited to canned narratives. As a result, what children come to know about Black history can be limited to Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her seat on the bus, Dr. King who had a dream, and not much else. There can be a tendency as educators to lean into these simplistic truths and to use resources that perpetuate them.

Across this institute, we’ll demonstrate how to break the cycle of relying upon reassuring narratives and instead, lean into the unsettling truths about race and racism in America that children are demanding and that help us to forge an antiracist future.

Throughout this institute, we’ll demonstrate the kinds of books and teaching that live beyond the month of February and all year long. You’ll learn about historical fiction and nonfiction texts that can be used as vehicles to teach about the struggles and triumphs of Black people in the United States—from enslavement to present day. And we’ll provide critical lenses that help educators to analyze and evaluate texts that can support, rather than whitewash, this important history.

A variety of reading and writing strategies and lessons will be shared. You’ll learn ways to teach students about activist/journalist Ida B. Wells-Barnett, including the writing strategies she used as an investigative journalist that students can apply in their own work as persuasive and argument writers. We’ll provide text sets on topics such as Juneteenth and the Tulsa Oklahoma Massacre that help students develop knowledge on important moments in history and critical reading skills, as they learn to connect the past to the present. We’ll demonstrate how an analysis of lyrics of popular freedom songs of the Civil Rights Movement can help students recognize music then and now as a tool for social change. And we’ll share ways to help students identify the work of antiracist leaders of the past and the present, such as Angela Davis, and the strategies they’ve used to fight for justice.

Black history is American history. And this institute will spotlight the ways teaching Black history positions all students to be changemakers in society.


$650/$600 NYC DOE


This institute will be offered online, in real-time via Zoom, and will not be recorded for later distribution. We will accept attendees until the institute has reached capacity.