Did you know that Louis Armstrong lived right here in Queens? And that Lewis Latimer did as well, and that you can visit both their homes and learn about their lives? We have compiled a list of field trips, virtual sites, and happenings that are taking place during Black History Month for families and teachers. These include in-person and virtual events at places like Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Sugar Hill Museum for Storytelling, and more!
In-Person and/or Virtual Field Trips During school Hours
- Smithsonian American Art Museum (virtual): The lives of African American artists lend insight into the context of their works. Learn about the diverse body of artwork created by African American artists and the historical, social, and cultural events, as well as the life experiences, that inspired their work. Grades 4-12:
- Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (virtual): check out the series called NMAAHC Kids Learning Together: Black Characters Celebration. Each week in February, NMAAHC Kids is celebrating Black children’s movie and TV characters! Join the virtual program (Zoom webinar) led by museum educators. Registration is required.
This is designed for kids 6+.
- Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture: While there are not scheduling group visits right now, they have a host of online materials that can be used be by teachers and families.
- Louis Armstrong House (in person tours and virtual): The Louis Armstrong House Museum (LAHM) sustains and promotes the cultural, historical, and humanitarian legacy of Louis Armstrong by preserving and interpreting Armstrong’s house and grounds, collecting and sharing archival materials that document Armstrong’s life and legacy, developing programs for the public that educate and inspire, and engaging with contemporary artists to create performances and new works. Right now, they have virtual resources and in person tours on Thursday through Saturday.
- Lewis Latimer House (in person and virtual): Lewis Howard Latimer (1848-1928) was an African-American inventor, electrical pioneer, and a son of fugitive enslaved people. With no access to formal education, Latimer taught himself mechanical drawing while in the Union Navy, and eventually became a chief draftsman, patent expert, and inventor Latimer worked with three of the greatest scientific inventors in American history, Alexander Graham Bell, Hiram S. Maxim, and Thomas Alva Edison. He played a critical role in the development of the telephone, and invented the carbon filament, a significant improvement in the production of the incandescent light bulb. Here in Queens, they offer tours of the house on Fridays and Saturdays in person, and virtual workshops about his life and about his STEM contributions on Tues-Thurs on Lewis Latimer and his life for Grades 2-12.
- Museum of City of New York: Explore New York’s rich history of social justice movements to see how activists have reimagined a more just future. Students will use photographs, flyers, posters, and film footage from the exhibition to discuss topics, such as youth action in the Civil Rights Movement, health activism and the Young Lords, and the current Movement for Black Lives. The program will provide space for students to voice their thoughts and participate in a reflective activity about what care for one’s self and community looks like.
- The Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling: This space provides our culturally rich neighborhood with a space where children and their families grow and learn about Sugar Hill in Harlem, and about the world at large, through intergenerational dialogue with artists, art and storytelling. Designed to nurture the curiosity and creative spirit of three- to eight-year-old children, Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling provides opportunities to grow as both author and audience, as children engage with the work of accomplished artists and storytellers, and create and share their own. They have a host of field trip opportunities, as well as family and cultural events in honor of Black History Month and year round.
Events for Families outside of school (in person and virtual)
While the above mentioned institutions also offer family programming in addition to school, we have included in addition some other places that have special events for families outside of school.
- Museum of Food and Drink (MoFAD): African/American: Making the Nation’s Table opens Feb 23. It is an ongoing event and exhibit on how African American contributions to our nation’s culinary culture are foundational and ongoing. For over 400 years, African Americans have inspired our country’s food through their skill, creativity, and entrepreneurship. Black foodways have shaped much of what we farm, what we cook, what we drink, and where we eat.
- NY Historical Society: The NY Historical Society has a range of virtual storytime and book events on Black contributions to our city and beyond. Check the out all of the events here – there are so many.
- Brooklyn Academy of Music(BAM): Learn more about the many incredible Black artists and speakers who have come to BAM over its 150+ year history and get inspired by the images from this special collection, put together by the BAM Hamm Archive.
- Studio Museum of Harlem: The Studio Museum in Harlem acknowledges the importance of families spending time together. Nurturing bonds between people who identify as family, the Museum offers programs and experiences for families to share in viewing, discussing, and creating art. Creative engagement with visual art provides children and families with opportunities to foster understanding and
- El Museo Del Barrio: Popular Painters and Other Visionaries examines the practices of 35 artists working on the margins of modernism and the mainstream art world throughout the Americas around the mid-20th century. The exhibition creates new dialogues between Latino and Latin American artists, with an emphasis on the US, the Caribbean, and South America and the African diaspora in these regions.
- Explore Harlem: This neighborhood site has a treasure trove of information, and also has put together some ideas and events specifically for Black History month.
Other Resources: Lessons Plans, Curriculum, and More
- Lessons Plans, Curriculum, and More:
- Learning for Justice Black History Month Lessons and Resources: https://www.learningforjustice.org/magazine/black-history-month-teaching-the-complete-history
- Center for Racial Justice Black History Month Resources: https://centerracialjustice.org/resources/black-history-month-resource-guide-for-educators-and-families/
- Black Lives Matters in School Resources: https://www.dcareaeducators4socialjustice.org/black-lives-matter/resources
- Teaching for Black Lives Resources: https://www.teachingforblacklives.org/teach-for-black-lives/
- 34 Powerful Black History Month Poems for Kids of All Ages – The Back to School Blog: https://thebacktoschoolblog.com/2022/01/34-powerful-black-history-month-poems-for-kids-of-all-ages/
- Outschool Celebrates Black History: https://outschool.com/search?q=black%20history