African American History Month

African American History Month

February 2020


The National Constitution Center has great resources, ready for use in the classroom!

Interactive Constitution: Reconstruction Amendments
Constitutional experts unpack the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments; the amendments that abolished slavery, addressed citizenship and equal protection, and ensured the right to vote would not be denied on the basis of race. This free, interactive online tool is also available as an app!

Videos: Reconstruction Amendments
Explore the 13th and 14th amendments with two great episodes of our educational video series, Constitution Hall Pass. You can also take a closer look at the 14th amendment with special mini episodes featuring constitutional scholars Eric Foner, Tomiko Brown Nagin, and National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen.

Video: “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Legacy of Service”
This engaging video lesson explores the life and work of the famous Civil Rights leader 

Video: Congressman John Lewis at the National Constitution Center
Watch Congressman Lewis and co-author Andrew Aydin discus their book March: Book One at the National Constitution Center

Lesson Plan: Breaking Barriers
In this lesson, students will work in groups to research selected events that characterized the civil rights movement

Lesson Plan: February's Civics in Literature Lesson
These selected stories and activities are perfect for elementary school students!

Artifact Highlight: Emancipation Proclamation
View this video showcasing our rare copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, download a digital copy for your classroom, and read our post about this historic document on our blog, Constitution Daily   



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.

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.

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