Celebrate Black History Month with Girl Scouts!
Black History Month is the perfect time to reflect on the importance of Black voices in our community!
The origins of Black History Month date back to 1926 when Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson founded “National Negro History Week.” In 1928, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History began assigning a Black History Month theme to highlight the different aspects of the Black experience every year. With this in mind, 2023’s theme of Black Resistance focuses on the ways that the Black community has resisted oppression in all aspects of life.
Girl Scouts can explore the theme of Black Resistance this year by completing activities to earn the Black History Month Celebration Patch. This patch program, which is part of the “Celebrate Cultural Richness” patch series, is accessible to all levels of Girl Scouts, from Daisies to Ambassadors.
As they complete activities based on the three categories of Art, Community Traditions, and Discovery, girls will explore the traditions and history of the Black community, from learning about African American folk art, to cooking a traditional African American dish, to researching the Black women in STEM that have changed the world!
Your girls can take a field trip to celebrate Black History Month and complete the patch program!
Field trips are invaluable ways for girls to experience hands-on learning, inspiration, community engagement, and cultural preservation. Processing in-person with the assistance of museum staff or historical experts will help your Girl Scouts contextualize the significance of Black history.
Black history is an essential part of American history, and visiting historic sites and museums can help preserve the cultural heritage of African Americans. It can also bring attention to the importance of preserving and protecting these sites, and it can raise awareness about the need for more inclusive and diverse representation in American history.
Fortunately for us, Ohio has a rich history of African American contributions and achievements. Check out some of the many historic sites, monuments, and museums—right here in our council—that your troop can explore during Black History Month.
- National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati
- This museum in downtown Cincinnati focuses on the history of the Underground Railroad in the United States.
- The National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce (near Xenia)
- This museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting the history and culture of African Americans in Ohio. The museum features exhibits on the Underground Railroad, the Civil Rights Movement, and the contributions of African Americans in the arts and sciences.
- The Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Wilberforce (near Xenia)
- This monument honors Charles Young, the first African American to reach the rank of colonel in the U.S. Army. The monument highlights Young’s life and his contributions to the military and to civil rights.
- The Paul Laurence Dunbar House in Dayton
- This historic house was the home of Paul Laurence Dunbar, a prominent African American poet and writer. Visitors can learn about Dunbar’s life and his contributions to literature.
- Black Heritage Library and Multicultural Center in Findlay
- In their own words, this is a teaching museum. While displaying art and artifacts from over 50 countries, the main focus of this museum is to bring awareness and appreciation to the diversity that we can find right here in our backyards in Ohio.
- The African American Legacy Trail in Toledo
- This trail is a walking path that follows the Underground Railroad through Toledo. It includes markers and monuments that commemorate the Underground Railroad and the abolitionist movement as a whole.
Your troop can accomplish more Black History Month Celebration Patch activities by reaching out to members of your local community. Uplift the voices in your neighborhood by supporting black owned businesses and organizations all year long!
Be on the lookout for a new blog post later this month about leading age-appropriate discussions about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
How is your troop celebrating Black History Month? Share your story with us today!