African American History Month

African American History Month

February 2017

Do-Now Discussion

Does racial harmony exist in the United States? Back up your answer with an example.

Visitors to the National Constitution Center this February can experience a variety of programs in honor of African American History Month. Explore the Museum’s The Story of We the People exhibit to discover key milestones in African-American history. During daily interactive programs, visitors can learn about the lives of African-American leaders, the history behind the Emancipation Proclamation, and more.

African American History Month at the museum is generously sponsored by TD Bank, through the TD Charitable Foundation.  


Breaking Barriers Show

The interactive Breaking Barriers show examines the lives of Thurgood Marshall, Bessie Coleman, Jackie Robinson, and other groundbreaking African-Americans throughout American history—providing insight into the struggles they faced and the rights they secured for all citizens. Their inspiring stories reveal how one individual’s civic actions can impact a nation.

Decoding the Document: Emancipation Proclamation Document Workshop

Take a closer look at the museum’s rare printing of the Emancipation Proclamation to learn more about its history, the history of the Civil War, and the background of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.

African American History Self-Guided Tour

Pick up a handy flier at our Information Desk to take a self-guided museum tour highlighting important moments in African-American history. Featuring:

  • Our rare, signed copies of the Thirteenth Amendment and Emancipation Proclamation
  • President Obama inauguration artifacts
  • The American National Tree, featuring influential African-Americans including Paul Robeson, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ward Connerly, and 2012 Liberty Medal winner Muhammad Ali
  • An original printing of the Supreme Court’s controversial Dred Scott decision

Giant Game Board Activity

As part of our interactive daily programming in February, test your knowledge of African-American history at our Giant Game Board.


Honor African American History Month with the National Constitution Center through a variety of online resources that can be used in the classroom.


  • Constitution Hall Pass: “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Legacy of Service”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. saw himself as a servant of humanity, and he wanted his life to be remembered as a life of service to others. This inspiring episode of Constitution Hall Pass illuminates Dr. King’s legacy of service. We’ll explore how his use of nonviolence was not just a political tool, but a way to demonstrate service to others. Learn about other activists who drew inspiration from Dr. King—and ways that you can serve your community. Join us as we honor the memory of an extraordinary American citizen by talking about service!

Lesson Plans

  • Breaking Barriers
    In this lesson, students begin by learning about the concept of rights and how African Americans have been denied their freedom. Then, students will work in groups to research selected events that characterized the civil rights movement and present their findings to the class by producing mock television newscasts.Activities
  • Download February's Civics in Literature Lesson

Craft Activity: “I Have a Dream” Mobiles

  • “I Have a Dream” Mobiles
    Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s historic "I Have a Dream" speech by creating mobiles that inspire your students to think about their own dreams.

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