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Ideas for a Youth Black History Program

If you're in charge of putting together the black history program this year for your school or youth group, you may want to incorporate some presentations into the program that are original as well as enjoyable. Teaching the young people who will be participating in the program about the contributions blacks have made to society through art, dance or theater can give you ideas for an event participants won't soon forget.

Creating a Theme

You can host a black history program centered around a certain type of contribution that black people have made. For instance, your program can feature black men and women who have been influential in music and the arts or blacks who have made their mark in the areas of science and technology. So, try putting together a program in the style of a jazz concert to feature music by such greats as Count Basie, Duke Ellington or Ella Fitzgerald. Or, have students decorate the program space like a medical or biology lab to display the accomplishments of individuals, such as Dr. Charles Drew or Dr. Ben Carson. Focusing on one aspect of society may help you and your students to learn about black people that aren't often mentioned in the history books or featured in black history presentations.

Select a Time Period

Black history is more than just slavery and the civil rights movement. While these two time periods are very important, there are other historical eras that highlight black accomplishments,. Featuring such time periods as the Harlem Renaissance, when black poets and authors produced some of their most memorable work, or exploring the late 1800s when figures like Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois presented different ideals concerning black education will make preparing for the black history program an enlightening and inspiring process. A poetry reading or literary symposium may be a good idea for a program; students may also want to set up an art gallery with prints from artists, such as painter Palmer Hayden and photographer James Van Der Zee, while creating some original paintings of their own for display. Dressing students up in some of the traditional clothing of the time period and allowing them to portray Du Bois and Washington by using quotes from each man on the importance of vocational education (Washington) and socioeconomic class (Du Bois) may also bring about a better understanding of the era.

Find Costumes

Your students will feel as though they have traveled back in time when they're wearing some of the traditional garments from the time period you've chosen. Whether your class chooses to wear such items as the beaded bodice that African girls from the Zulu and Venda tribes wear on special occasions, or the zoot suits made popular by black men in the 1920s, your program will have an authentic feel to it that will make you and your class very proud of the hard work you've done.

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