This collection of videos and lesson plans focused on the lives of African Americans throughout our nation’s history. Students will delve into the African-American experience, with videos and slideshows that explore civil rights history and politics, as well as African-American arts and culture. 

These 17 videos and lesson plans provide nearly four weeks worth of content for an African-American studies short course or unit lesson plan. Recommended for grades 6-12. Review content for lower grades.

Presidential Museums Bring History of Slavery to Light (new!)

original air date: 2/14/18

Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia mountaintop home, is a popular tourist destination, but lately it and other plantation museums have been updating their portrayal of the past.

Pop Quiz: 150th Anniversary of the End of Slavery

original air date: 12/7/15

Slavery was encoded into the U.S. Constitution and remained a monstrous contradiction to the principles of the Declaration of Independence until the passage of…which amendment?

Madam C. J. Walker: Self-Made Millionaire

original air date: 3/2/17

Madam C. J. Walker, whose parents and older siblings were former slaves, is our nation’s first self-made woman millionaire. Channel One News checks out an exhibit dedicated to Walker at the National Museum of African American History in Washington, D.C., and then takes a closer look at Walker’s life and achievements.

Tuskegee Next

original air date: 8/17/15

Tuskegee Next is working to bring more African-Americans and other minorities into the field of aviation, where barely 2 percent of pilots are black. The slideshow focuses on how the Tuskegee Airmen bravely fought against our enemies in World War II — and against the racism of their time. Students consider how Tuskegee Next continues their legacy.

The Life and Legacy of Thurgood Marshall

original air date: 10/2/17

In the fall of 2017, a new biopic of Thurgood Marshall hit theaters. In this lesson, Channel One News takes an in-depth look at the life and legacy of one of the most important civil rights figures in American history.

Montgomery Bus Boycott

original air date: 12/2/15

The Montgomery Bus Boycott captured the attention of the entire nation and sparked the civil rights movement. On the 60th anniversary of the start of the boycott, students walk to the site of the pivotal arrest of Rosa Parks and explore how one woman helped changed history.

Teen Sheds Light on Negro League Baseball (new!)

original air date: 2/9/18

In this segment Channel One talks to a baseball card–collector-turned-activist who is shedding light on segregation in baseball. The slideshow profiles Jackie Robinson and his work to integrate the major leagues.

Friendship Nine

original air date: 2/5/15

In 1961, nine civil-rights activists staged a sit-in, were arrested and chose to serve jail time instead of paying a fine. More than half a century later, the “Friendship Nine” finally had their convictions overturned.

Bloody Sunday Anniversary

original air date: 3/9/15

On the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, we take a look at how the sacrifices of civil rights leaders led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Students will learn about the history of voter suppression in America and consider the impact of the 2013 Supreme Court decision that struck down Section Four of the Act.

Selma and the Voting Rights Act

original air date: 1/20/15

A new movie shares the story of the Selma-Montgomery March. Led by Martin Luther King Jr., the march began with abuse by the police, but five months later yielded success as the Voting Rights Act was passed.

Black History: Malcolm X

original air date: 2/23/15

Fifty years after the death of civil rights leader Malcolm X, his daughter Ilyasah Shabazz talks about his life and legacy. The slideshow traces the evolution of his views on racial problems in America.

1968 Olympics Black Power Salute

original air date: 2/13/17

Nearly 50 years later, Olympic medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos are welcomed to the White House in September 2016. Students will consider the impact of political protests at sporting events.

25 Years Later: L.A. Riots

original air date: 4/28/17

April 29, 2017 marked the 25th anniversary of the riots that devastated the city of Los Angeles following the acquittal of four LAPD officers in the assault of Rodney King. Fury over the acquittal resulted in five days of rioting and sparked a national conversation about the use of force in policing that continues today.

Black Lives Matter, Explained

original air date: 2/29/16

In 2012 the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin brought attention to systemic unfairness in the criminal justice system and sparked the Black Lives Matter movement. In this segment we explore the motivations behind the movement and institutionalized racism in America.

Maya Angelou Inspires a New Generation

original air date: 4/27/15

Shawn Rivera read Maya Angelou’s poetry to help get him through a difficult time. He liked her poems so much that he set them to music. Through the video and the slideshow we explore Maya Angelou’s life, learn about her work as a performer and writer, and see how her poems give meaning to a new generation.

Black Cowboys

original air date: 2/22/17

You wouldn’t know it from watching Hollywood westerns, but around a quarter of all cowboys were black. Channel One reports from a modern black rodeo and explores the lives of some of these Wild West legends.

Black History: Five Voices on Being First

original air date: 2/1/17

Learn about the importance of representation from five African Americans who made history by become the “first”: Ernest Green of the Little Rock 9; Mae Jennison, the first black woman in space; Bob Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television; Michelle Howard, first African-American female four-star admiral in US Navy; and Eric Holder, first black attorney general.

Misty Copeland

original air date: 2/3/16

In 2015 ballerina Misty Copeland became the first African-American principal dancer at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. Find out how she’s helping open doors for a new generation of ballerinas. Students also learn about Raven Wilkinson, the first African-American woman to dance for a major ballet company.

Travel Noire

original air date: 5/11/16

African Americans are less likely to travel outside of the country than their white counterparts, due to a variety of factors. But Zim Ugochukwu started Travel Noire to help inspire young black people to travel the world. The slideshow looks back at an earlier effort to ease travel for black Americans, the Negro Motorist Green Book.

President Obama’s Legacy

original air date: 1/11/17

President Obama gave his final speech as president on January 10, 2017. Channel One News analyzes the content and effect of this speech and how it characterizes his presidency and hints at his legacy. Our slideshow further explores what President Obama’s legacy may be.