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What are some good online resources for African American History Month?

A: This year marks the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have a Dream…” speech. It’s also the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.  

Our national tribute to African American heritage was started by Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson as a weeklong celebration in 1926. Each year, the celebration takes on a different theme; for 2013, it’s “Black Women in American Culture and History.”

Help your child understand the importance of this annual tribute by exploring local events at libraries and community centers, along with these resources.

Read all about it.

Each year since Ronald Reagan, the President of the United States issues a proclamation on National African American History Month. Read it together online at whitehouse.gov. The National Education Association also offers a great African American Booklist for kids at nea.org/grants/13542.htm

Visit historic monuments.

Take your kids to the National Civil Rights Museum downtown and learn more about the movement and Martin Luther King Jr. Go online to National Park Service (nps.gov) and read about the Lincoln Memorial and the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Discover colorful history.

Other museums also offer great online resources. The DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago (dusablemuseum.org) and the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art (africa.si.edu) provide links to draw a mask or design kente cloths. The Library of Congress hosts a website dedicated to African American History Month, including videos of authors and artists at africanamericanhistorymonth.gov.

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