Celebrate Black History at Home
In celebration of Black History Month, the O’Hara PTO Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee invites students and families to research Black Americans and share what you learn with the community.
This optional program will be the first in a series of programming hosted by the DEI Committee to explore and celebrate the diverse student and family identities that are a part of our community. If you have ideas for future programming, please email the committee chairs.
Step 1: Select a Person to Research or Interview.
We have shared a list of Black Americans, both historical and contemporary, but this list is by no means exhaustive. In fact, there’s something very specific about it. Answer the trivia question below when you submit your project for a chance to win a $25 gift card to The Tiny Bookstore, Pittsburgh’s only Black-owned independent bookstore.
Families and friends are welcome to work together in a group to create one project, or you may partner with a friend or classmate for a group project.
We encourage you to pick an individual who interests or inspires you and to learn more about the person and their contributions to the world. The person you choose to learn about does not need to be on this list, and they don’t need to be famous – you can also interview a neighbor or family friend to learn more about their career and who inspired them.
Step 2: Research.
Who is the person you selected? When and where were they born? What contributions have they made to history or to their profession? If they are living, what do they do? Who were they influenced by? What do you admire about the person you selected? What obstacles did they overcome in their life?
- Sweetsearch.com – a search engine for students
- https://nmaahc.si.edu/ – National Museum of African American History & Culture
- https://www.carnegielibrary.org/stream-and-download/ebooks/ – Carnegie Library – eBooks (library card required)
- Kids Info Bits and World Book Online. These can be accessed via eresources.einetwork.net with a library card.
- https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/history/african-american-heroes/ (for more inspiration)
- Check out the Cooper-Siegel Community Library YouTube channel in February for a new “Artist & Scientist of the Month” Series – Virtual programs will be posted to the YouTube channel every Saturday at 10:30am beginning February 6th. In honor of Black History Month the inaugural scientist is Katherine Johnson and the inaugural artist is Romare Bearden (who spent some time in Pittsburgh).
Step 3: Share What You Learned.
Create a poster, digital file, video or artwork sharing what you have learned. Be sure to include the person’s full name and a short description of who they are. Some ideas for your project are listed below, but we encourage you to be creative! Projects will be shared with the O’Hara community.
- Artists: Create a portrait of the artist in the same style as their work.
- Actors: Create a movie poster or play bill featuring the actor.
- Scientists: Create a research poster presenting facts you have learned. Include a photo of the scientist or something that represents their work or invention.
- Sports: Create a trading card.
You may also create a short (1 minute) video recording to share what you’ve learned or to record an interview.
Do you need materials to complete your project? Email your school counselor for assistance with poster board, markers, glue sticks or help with printing.
Step 4: Submit Your Work.
Go to https://form.jotform.com/OEPTO/black-history-project to submit your project, including a photo, document or video file. If you are able to send your completed project into school, please label it with “PTO Black History Month.” If you would like your project returned to you, be sure to include your name and homeroom teacher.
Aside from being important Black figures, all of the individuals included on our list have something in common. What do you think it is? Correct answers included with your submission will earn a chance to win a $25 gift card to The Tiny Bookstore, Pittsburgh’s only Black-owned independent bookstore. One prize will be awarded per grade.