25 Black History Month Bulletin Board Ideas to Honor and Educate (2024)

With February right around the corner, creating a Black History Month bulletin board is a great way to start important discussions and showcase history lessons. There are numerous ideas and angles you can use as inspiration to create your bulletin board, so how do you pick just one? Our teacher team has created a list of ideas to help you choose the right way to showcase Black history in your own classroom or hallway.

Black history is American history as well, which means you can keep your board up beyond the month of February!If you’re unsure of what to portray or where to start on your bulletin board, keep scrolling!

We’ve got Black history bulletin board ideas, free printables and even ideas that you can use on your classroom door this month!

Whether you’re creating a bulletin board for Black History Month or as an educational display during another time of year, here are some ideas from teachers across the country and beyond.

Black History Is American History

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Photo courtesy of Hanover Hills Elementary School, Maryland

One talented teacher from Hanover Hills Elementary in Hanover, Maryland did a wonderful job assembling this collection of Time magazine covers to create a “Black History Is American History” bulletin board. Each cover portrays a famous Black American who has made an unforgettable mark on American society, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell, tennis phenom Serena Williams, entertainer Jay-Z, activist and former NFL star Colin Kaepernick, singer Aretha Franklin, civil rights leaderMartin Luther King Jr., director Ava DuVernay and Vice PresidentKamala Harris.

You can create a similar look for your classroom by recycling old magazine covers, printing your own, asking your local library for covers to print or collecting them from a thrift store.

Getting to the Heart of Black HERstory

Do you want a bulletin board you can set up for Black History Month and keep up through Women’s History Month in March? Consider focusing on “HERstory” this year.

There are so many incredible African American women who have changed the course of history. Do you want to expose your students to some figures they may not have heard of before? Focus on women with a board titled, “Getting to the Heart of Black HERstory.” You can fill the board with short biographies of black women with a small photo next to each.

For the word “heart” you can use either a paper cut out of a heart or the actual word!

Here are just a few Black women who have had an enormous impact on American society to help you fill up your board:

  • Ruby Bridges
  • Dr. Mae Jemison
  • Bessie Coleman
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Shirley Chisholm
  • Carol Moseley Braun
  • Kamala Harris
  • Audre Lorde
  • Condeleeza Rice
  • Maya Angelou
  • Katherine Johnson
  • Marian Anderson
  • Amelia Boynton
  • Rosa Parks
  • Sojourner Truth

Because of Her, I Can!

Continuing with the women theme, use the words “Because of Her, I Can!” as your bulletin board title, and either fill the space with famous black women or choose one to focus on. Along with your title, you can include photos or a biography or fill the space with important and fun facts your students will pick up on each time they walk past.

Breaking Chains in Education

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Photo courtesy of California 5th grade teacher Ms. Pratt

California 5th-grade teacher Ms. Pratt highlighted Black educators “who’ve made changes and history in education” on this bulletin board. Her use of a bold green background and a silhouette of Africa as the woman’s hair makes this a bold and eye-catching display for the classroom or hallway.

Looking for some Black educators to feature on your bulletin board? Here are a few Black Americans who have changed the way our students learn to add to your board!

  • Booker T. Washington — In addition to his work advising a number of American presidents, Washington had a significant impact on the field of education as the founder of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute (now Tuskegee University).
  • W.E.B. Dubois — Best known for co-founding the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Dubois taught at several universities, including Atlanta University and Fisk University.
  • Charlotte Forten Grimké — An abolitionist and activist,Grimké was among the teachers who helped formerly enslaved young people and adults learn to read during the Civil War.

Instead of focusing on educators, you could switch focus and use your bulletin board to teach students about some of the brave students who were on the front lines of the desegregating American schools from Ruby Bridges to the Little Rock Nine(Minnijean Brown, Terrance Roberts, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Thelma Mothershed, Melba Patillo, Gloria Ray, Jefferson Thomas, and Carlotta Walls).

We Are Who We Are Because…

Use this idea as a bulletin board or door display: “We are who we are because they were who they were.” You can fill the space with these decorative ideas:

  • Include small biographies of different historical black figures with photos.
  • Cut out a figure of a student reading a book with thought bubbles rising upwards with the faces of different famous figures.
  • Include an image of an opened book with famous faces coming out of it.
  • Create a heart shape out of hand cutouts in all different colors around the words and make a border of famous figures around the outside.

Challenge, Dream, Fight…

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Photo courtesy of Richmond Hill Middle School of Georgia

The librarian at Georgia-based Richmond Hill Middle School made this beautiful display for Black History Month. Among varying book titles, they included the words, “Challenge like Rosa, Dream like Martin, Fight like Malcolm, Lead like Harriet, Write like Maya.”

The descriptions of famous figures in the posters are sure to inspire students to learn more about each person and browse some of the books on display. Use this bulletin board idea over your classroom bookshelf or for your school’s library.

Black History Rocks

Celebrate Black excellence with a bulletin board or classroom door that celebrates some of the Black musicians who have changed the American musical landscape. You don’t have to be a music teacher to know that Black music has been at the very core of American musicfrom the spirituals sung by enslaved people to modern hip hop. But how much do your students know about the musicians who brought us to where we are today?

Create a Black History Rocks bulletin board using black construction paper circles to form records, then add colorful circles in the center of each record with information about various black musicians from throughout history, as well as their accomplishments.

Some musicians and moments you may want to include:

  • Marian Anderson— The first Black woman to be a part of the Metropolitan Opera Company, she’s best known for her historic 1939 performance at the Lincoln Memorial.
  • Ella Fitzgerald — The First Lady of Song was the first Black woman to win a Grammy Award in 1958 and would go on to win 13 in total.
  • Aretha Franklin — The Queen of Soul demanded some R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
  • Beyoncé — Queen Bey remains the only artist to have all six of her albums debut at number one.

The Hill We Climb

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Photo courtesy of Hanover Hills Elementary School, Maryland

Poetry is a unique theme to focus on for a bulletin board such as this example by a Maryland teacher from Hanover Hills Elementary. They used the inaugural poem by Amanda Gorman as the basis for their Black History Month bulletin board. The poem is entitled “The Hill We Climb” which you can listen to here and created a metaphorical mountain with printouts of historical figures like Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou and Harriet Tubman.

Here are some other ideas for poems you can study with your class and highlight on your Black History Month bulletin board:

  • Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou
  • Dreams by Langston Hughes
  • Black is Beautiful by Shannon D. Brown-Rogers
  • Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

We Rise By Lifting Others

This bulletin board idea not only celebrates Black History Month but also encourages tolerance and equality at school. Use whatever kind of lettering you prefer to spell out the words “We Rise By Lifting Others” at the top and decorate underneath with hands in all different colors.

Since it’s also a February bulletin board, you can also fill some of the negative space with hearts.

Local Black History

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Photo courtesy of Western New York high school librarian Amy

Black History doesn’t have to be global or national for students to learn it. Amy, a western New York school librarian, thought it was important to highlight Black history right in her students’ community in the western New York area on her Black History Month bulletin board. She includes exhibits, parks, politics, and celebrations to enlighten her students’ knowledge of history and culture.

Spend some time investigating Black history in your local area to create a similar bulletin board. Once you’ve researched and typed out some information, you can use these descriptions each year or for a permanent bulletin board in your classroom or hallway.

Love Comes In Different Colors

A fun idea for younger students is to have each child dip their palm in paint and stick their handprint on the border of a large paper heart. Once everyone has printed their handprint, add the title, “Love Comes in Different Colors!”

Black, Bold and Gifted

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Photo courtesy of Hanover Hills Elementary School, Maryland

Go bold with your bulletin board! This Hanover Hills Elementary teacher certainly did with their use of bright yellow and black felt. Many Black History Month bulletin boards highlight well-known Black Americans such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. Branch out with other historical figures such as Black mathematicians, scientists, poets, authors, etc.

If you’re a science or math teacher, here are some talented figures you can include in your bulletin board:

  • Benjamin Banneker — Best known for building America’s first clock
  • Euphemia Lofton Haynes — The first Black American woman to earn a PhD in mathematics
  • Katherine Johnson — Worked at NASA and provided calculations for John Glenn’s orbit around the Earth
  • George Washington Carver — Invented more than 300 uses for peanuts
  • Alexa Canady — First female African-American neurosurgeon in the United States

Celebrating Black History…

A simple past, present and future theme can create a thoughtful Black History Month bulletin board. Separate your board into three columns or three rows and label them “The Past, The Present and The Future.” Then paste photos of famous black figures. Here are some ideas for each category:

  • The Past: Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Harriet Tubman, Katherine Johnson
  • The Present: Simone Biles, Michael Jordan, Barack Obama, Serena Williams, Oprah Winfrey
  • The Future: Amanda Gorman, Nicholas Johnson, Sydney Barber (or include photos of students in your school!)

Past, Present, Future

Continuing with the past, present and future theme, split your board into three rows with the following words:

  • Rosa sat so
  • Martin could walk so
  • Obama could run

Photos of each of these important Black Americans can fill in the negative space surrounding this powerful message. Of course, you can also change out the names to whoever you’d like to highlight!

Interactive Black History

Do you want your bulletin board to be interactive? Why not create a matching game for your students on your bulletin board or classroom door?

Set your decor up with two columns, placing photos of a series of black Americans on one side. On the other side, add different facts or different quotes that need to be matched to the appropriate person.

I Have A Dream

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Photo courtesy of Florida school librarian Marjorie Panopio

Handprints and cutouts are always useful when working with elementary students. Florida school librarian Marjorie did this with her bulletin board for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month. She used colorful hand cutouts in the center with names of some of the school’s special ed students and scattered book cover printouts on the rest. Some of the books she highlights include:

Black History Day By Day

February may be a short month, but you can’t make it really count with a bulletin board that’s set up like a February calendar with a focus on one Black American on each day.

Why not challenge students to create biographies on different Black Americans that you can hang up on each day, making it a student work display and Black History Month bulletin board in one?

Celebrate Black Authors

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Photo courtesy of Hanover Hills Elementary School, Maryland

Continuing with the library bulletin board theme, here’s another creative display from a Maryland teacher at Hanover Hills Elementary. Plenty of elementary-appropriate books by Black authors cover this eye-catching bulletin board. Check out some of these titles to include in your own:

Consider placing a similar bulletin board above a table or bookshelf with the highlighted titles ready to pick up and read to encourage instant reading!

We Are Our Ancestor’s Wildest Dreams

This powerful title can align with your bulletin board in many ways. You can:

  • Include photos of your students in the center while the border displays famous historical figures.
  • Paste hearts all over the board with famous faces in each heart.
  • Cover the background with blue paper and paste white clouds to fill in the space. On each cloud, include a famous name or their photo or both!

Learn From Black History

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Photo courtesy of Hawaii sustainability and innovation coordinator Katherine Jones

Too many famous figures to choose from? We understand! Fifth graders at Katherine Jones’s Hawaii elementary school put in some research for this Black History bulletin board display, including authors, athletes, scientists, musicians, and more. Each historical figure fits into the following categories:

  • Play Like
  • Believe Like
  • Write Like
  • Lead Like
  • Sing Like
  • Speak Like
  • Challenge Like
  • Dream Like

A bulletin board like this is perfect for a social studies, history, or culture class to put together and would be appropriate in the hallway for multiple classes to enjoy and learn from!

Famous African American Athletes

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Photo courtesy of Hanover Hills Elementary School, Maryland

This interactive bulletin board by a Hanover Hills Elementary teacher focuses on famous African American athletes. Kids that walk by this board will be able to learn one by one about each athlete after viewing their photo.

Use colored construction paper for this display by simply folding and gluing! You can even assign each student one historical figure to focus on, and assemble everyone’s creation afterward to take the workload off of you.

Looking for famous figures to highlight? Consider some of these famous Black athletes:

  • Joe Louis — Boxer
  • Jesse Owens — Track and field star and Olympian
  • Jackie Robinson — Baseball player
  • Althea Gibson — Tennis phenom
  • Magic Johnson — Basketball player
  • Serena Williams — Tennis star
  • Simone Biles — Olympic gymnast

Rooted in History

Use this play on words to visualize a tree expanding upwards with its roots exposed on the bottom. Within the roots, include photos of famous black figures who changed history. You can even go chronologically as you continue up the tree trunk.

Young, Gifted, and Black

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Photo courtesy of reception teacher Miss Hawkridge of England.

If you have younger students like English teacher Miss Hawkridge, this is a great example of an age-appropriate bulletin board to gather inspiration. Incorporating art into your lessons is always a good idea.

Each child painted their own portrait of a historic Black figure in a frame, and Miss Hawkridge added photos with quotes from her students about their understanding of each person.

Honor Celebrate Inspire Empower

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Photo courtesy of Hanover Hills Elementary School, Maryland

Empower your students with independent research using templates like this Hanover Hills Elementary teacher. They had each student fill out their own worksheet highlighting a different Black historical figure including Rosa Parks, Michelle Obama, and Martin Luther King Jr.

This is a perfect example of a homework assignment that can be put on display. You can also assign one historical character per student pair or small group to encourage teamwork in the research process.

MLK Jr. Had a Dream

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Photo courtesy of Hanover Hills Elementary School, Maryland

We end with another creation from Hanover Hills Elementary focused on Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Each third-grade student wrote their dream to go alongside an MLK poster with a quote from his famous speech in Washington D.C.

Each student can treasure their laminated dream to capture their hopes and wishes from their young school years when they’re older.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

As an expert and enthusiast, I have access to a vast amount of information and can provide insights on various topics, including the concepts used in this article. Here are some key concepts related to creating a Black History Month bulletin board:

  1. Black History Month: Black History Month is an annual observance in the United States and Canada that takes place in February. It is a time to recognize and celebrate the achievements and contributions of African Americans throughout history.

  2. Bulletin Board: A bulletin board is a display board typically found in classrooms or public spaces where information, announcements, or artwork can be posted. It is often used as a visual aid to convey important messages or showcase student work.

  3. Black History Is American History: This concept emphasizes that Black history is an integral part of American history. It recognizes the significant contributions and impact of Black Americans on various aspects of society, including politics, sports, arts, and civil rights.

  4. HERstory: HERstory is a term used to highlight the history and achievements of women, particularly those who have been historically overlooked or marginalized. Focusing on HERstory during Black History Month can provide an opportunity to showcase the contributions of African American women throughout history.

  5. Because of Her, I Can!: This concept acknowledges the influence and inspiration provided by influential Black women. It highlights the achievements and contributions of Black women and encourages students to recognize the impact they have had on society.

  6. Breaking Chains in Education: This concept focuses on the contributions of Black educators who have made significant changes and advancements in the field of education. It recognizes their efforts in promoting equality and access to education for all.

  7. Black History Rocks: This concept celebrates the rich musical heritage and contributions of Black musicians throughout history. It recognizes the influence of Black music on American culture and highlights the achievements of notable Black musicians.

  8. The Hill We Climb: This concept refers to the inaugural poem by Amanda Gorman, titled "The Hill We Climb." It emphasizes the progress and challenges faced by Black Americans throughout history and can be used as a theme for a bulletin board display.

  9. Interactive Black History: This concept involves creating an interactive bulletin board that engages students in learning about different Black Americans. It can include matching games, facts, and quotes to encourage active participation and learning.

  10. Local Black History: This concept focuses on highlighting Black history within a specific local community or region. It encourages students to explore and learn about the contributions and achievements of Black individuals in their own area.

These are just some of the concepts related to creating a Black History Month bulletin board. You can use these ideas as inspiration to design an engaging and educational display that celebrates Black history and promotes understanding and appreciation among students.

25 Black History Month Bulletin Board Ideas to Honor and Educate (2024)
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