Black Lives Matter at School, a national coalition of educators organizing for racial justice in schools, organizes a “Week of Action” in schools each February. In 2020, the week is observed February 3 – 7. The goal is to raise awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement’s thirteen guiding principles, teach Black history, and advocate for a set of national demands.
Although there are many ways to participate in the week of action, we hope educators will commit to teach a wide variety of lessons centering Black history and literature.
Teach Black History
- Help students see themselves as change-agents by teaching about the rich history of Black student activism in Teaching SNCC: The Organization at the Heart of the Civil Rights Revolution.
- Combat the misrepresentation of the Black Panther Party in textbooks by teaching students What We Don’t Learn About the Black Panther Party — but Should.
- Reveal how government policies segregated every major city in the United States, with dire consequences for African Americans.
- Disrupt racist myths about who is responsible for the end of slavery by introducing students to a wide variety of Black abolitionists.
- Highlight a too often overlooked but powerful moment in the Black freedom struggle by teaching about Reconstruction — a time, like our own, when activists sought to make Black Lives Matter.
Teach Books About Black Lives
Find books for your classroom for read-alouds, novel and story units, independent reading, student research, and more.
Teach for Black Lives All Year Long
- Read and teach Rethinking Schools’ book, Teaching for Black Lives and Barbara Ransby’s new book, Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the 21st Century.
- Read and discuss the Winter 2020 editorial in Rethinking Schools magazine: “Black Lives Matter at School: From the Week of Action to Year-Round, Anti-Racist Pedagogy and Protest.”
- Start a study group in your union or school.
- Give copies to your department chair, principal, and/or school boardShare how you are using the books in your networks and on social media.
- #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool national coalition
- Seven Things We Learned from the D.C. Area Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Schools at Medium.com
- See what educators in DC are planning for the 2020 week of action
- Read more about #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool and Black Minds Matter from Teaching Tolerance