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Black History Month with Maps101

Posted on January 29 2023

Black History Month with Maps101


Dear Educator,

In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month for the month of February, as have all following presidents. He asked the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Classrooms that follow DEI principles seek to do what Ford suggests: include diversity throughout the year. But this month, it is especially important to bring attention to successful Black Americans in all fields of study. Maps101 is your resource to incorporate Black History into your classroom.
The Black History Month Curated Collection is an ideal way to find a variety of resources that focus on Black Americans. You will find Geography News Network articles, including biographies; Field Trips; and historical maps that illuminate the struggles and successes of Black Americans.

The Black History Month Field Trip takes an interactive tour through the main themes of Black History. Topics include the Underground Railroad, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Harlem Renaissance, the Tuskegee Airmen, important figures in Black history, and much more. This Field Trip is excellent for any classroom interested in presenting a general overview of Black History themes during February’s celebration.


Although the Emancipation Proclamation that Lincoln gave during the Civil War freed those who had been enslaved, it took about a century before the civil rights movement focused on equal rights for African Americans. This exclusive, interactive Field Trip focuses on the movement and its impact. Students will understand school desegregation, meet Rosa Parks, understand the essential role of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington, and the voting in of America’s first Black president, Barack Obama.


GNN is your weekly resource for thought-provoking, entertaining, age-appropriate articles. There are so many articles for Black History Month, it is difficult to pick just one to highlight! Use this link to discover biographies in Maps101, including well-known and lesser-known figures in Black History. Some articles are even leveled for elementary readers. Look for articles labelled GNN Junior. Sample biographies include: Henrietta Lacks, Ketanji Brown Jackson, Hattie McDaniel, Ida B. Wells, Jesse Owens, Colin Powell, Maya Angelou, Miles Davis, Muhammad Ali, Rosa Parks, African Americans in World War II, African American medical pioneers, and more.


Since we are Maps101, of course we have maps and a lot of them! From the Civil War to contemporary topics, we have maps that enhance geographic understanding in the classroom for Black History Month. This week, let’s look at Major Civil Rights Events, 1954-1968. Project the map on the board and have students list each event and the details provided. Then, divide them into groups and assign each group an event from the list to further explore. Have students present what they have learned in class during the month of February. Then, lead a discussion as to how much has changed, or whether it has, for Black Americans since the civil rights movement. Encourage students to delve deeply into the topic to increase their Social Emotional Learning skills.


This is a small sample of the kind of content available to you with a Maps101 subscription. Every week, the editors at Maps101 will provide you with highlights from our extensive collection in this GeoJournal newsletter. We suggest you make a folder to store them for future reference. Expand your students’ world with Maps101!

High-quality geography products for the classroom. From globes to wall maps, atlases to games, offers a wealth of products to help put your classroom on the map.
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