There are a lot of resources to educate yourself during Black History Month and knowing where to start can be difficult. One place I’ve found very useful to get a lot of information in a short period of time is Black History in Two Minutes.Launched in 2019 by Robert F. Smith, Black History in Two Minutes (or so), is a web series designed for people of all ages and educational backgrounds to be able to immerse themselves in Black history. As they explain on their website, “the digital video series features dozens of short, engaging and factually accurate videos about important historical events or people who have shaped American history.”
The episodes are researched and narrated by historian, Henry Louis Gates Jr., and range in length from two to four minutes. A great place to start exploring is their YouTube channel. Topics of the videos include slavery, civil rights, politics, music, sports, science and profiles of people whose names you do know, or should know. There is something to interest everyone.
In less time than it’s taken me to write this blog, I learned that the first underground railroad in the United States ran from north to south taking slaves to Spanish Florida, that Ella Baker helped organize both the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and that Oscar Micheaux was the first major Black filmmaker to produce and direct his own films - starting in 1917!
Black History in Two Minutes has won 5 Webby Awards and is a great place to get bite sized history lessons. For a more structured approach to learning, there are teaching guides which you can download for use in the classroom: season one teaching guides.
The best way to support the work of Black History in Two Minutes is watch some videos and amplify their message on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @blkhistory2min and on Instagram @blackhistoryintwominutes.