February 1st begins African American Heritage Month here in the US and we have 5 African American historical figures you NEED to meet as you celebrate African American Heritage Month!
While I think we can all agree that we should study folks of all ethnic backgrounds all year round in our homeschool history lessons, it is still fun to take a month to take a little extra time to meet someone new from our history and learn about their contributions to it!
For this list, I've included the 5 African Americans we've covered with our Heritage Letters so far. That way if you need our help making learning about one or all of these 5 African American historical figures, we can do that for you super easy by dropping a letter from them in the mail to you or sending you their letters digitally if you prefer that option. And we have FREE lesson plans and FREE printables for each of these historical figures too!
In addition to our letters, I'm including with this post our absolute favorite book on each person to help give you a good starting point for your homeschool history lessons!
1. George Washington Carver
Scientist, teacher, gardener, and the KING of all things related to peanuts. You will LOVE learning all about this brilliant man who was a true pathfinder in plant education!
Our favorite book about George Washington Carver is In the Garden with Dr. Carver by Susan Grisby
2. Louis Armstrong
You'll be jazzed to learn all about the great musician who will have youl be singing "Hello Dolly!" and "What a Wonderful World" in no time as you learn all about the life and legacy of Louis Armstrong!
Let us help you learn about Louis Armstrong with our Louis Armstrong Heritage Letter!
Our favorite book about Louis Armstrong is Just a Lucky So and So by Lesa Cline-Ransome
3. Benjamin Banneker
Benjamin Banneker...astronomer, almanac writer, scientist, and more! Meet this truly spectacular African American and learn all about his discoveries. You'll be amazed by all he accomplished in his life!
Let us help you learn all about Benjamin Banneker with our Benjamin Banneker Heritage Letter, Lesson Plans, and Free Printables! If your kids love to tinker with everything and are always learning and designing new inventions, Benjamin Banneker will soon become a household favorite friend!
Our favorite book about Benjamin Banneker is Tick Tock Banneker's Clock by Shana Keller
4. Phillis Wheatley
Meet the young African American poet who amazed both colonial and British audiences with her poetry! If your children enjoy poetry tea time, Phillis Wheatley will be a lovely addition to your poetry studies!
You can find our Heritage Letter from Phillis Wheatley HERE! Be sure to check out our Free Printables for Phillis Wheatley, including many works of her poetry. Our lesson plans post for her also contains a few videos you'll want to watch!
For a delightful book on Phillis Wheatley, check out Phillis Sings Out Freedom: The Story of George Washington and Phillis Wheatley by Ann Malaspina
5. James Armistead Lafayette
Meet this remarkable slave turned Revolutionary War spy for the Marquis de Lafayette and the French forces helping the Patriots win our freedom. James Armistead Lafayette was actually a double-agent...spying on the British while they thought he was helping them spy on the Patriots!
Learn more about James's story and how he helped the colonies win their freedom from Britain then secured his own freedom as well. This is one African American in our history that you NEED to meet!
James Armistead Lafayette is our current Heritage Letter through February 14, 2022! You can get his letter right away by subscribing to the Heritage Letter today! Learn more about him with our lesson plans and free printables too!
Our favorite book about James Armistead Lafayette is A Spy Called James: The True Story of James Lafayette, Revolutionary War Double Agent by Anne Rockwell
And so many more!
I know I've hardly scratched the surface of all of the amazing African American historical figures you could study, but I hope this list gets you off to a great start as you celebrate the contributions of these amazing people by learning about their lives and how they helped make America a better place! Thank you for celebrating African American Heritage Month with us!
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