The past several years have certainly been unprecedented ones—a pandemic, civil unrest, political turmoil, and more. Through it all, racial injustice has taken center stage. At times, we’ve all navigated uncomfortable conversations, but it’s more important than ever to dig deep and be the leaders our communities deserve. Here’s a list of Black history videos to enlighten students in every grade level.
Black History Videos for Elementary School
The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“I have a dream …” Your students might know Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, but what do they know about the iconic civil rights leader who said them?
The Life of Rosa Parks
Learn about Rosa Parks, often called the “Mother of the Freedom Movement,” and what made her so brave and remarkable.
“I Am Jackie Robinson” by Brad Meltzer | Read-Aloud
Jack Roosevelt Robinson broke the baseball color line and became the first Black man to play major league baseball in the modern era.
The Story of Frederick Douglass
Are you learning about the abolitionist movement in the United States? The emancipation and subsequent freedom of Frederick Douglass is explored in this educational video.
The Breathtaking Courage of Harriet Tubman
Take a closer look at the life of escaped slave and American icon Harriet Tubman, who liberated more than 700 enslaved people using the Underground Railroad.
Muhammad Ali Biography
This video tells the story of Muhammad Ali, a legend in boxing and Black history.
Malcolm X (Civil Rights Leader)
Malcolm X was a civil rights leader whose life journey brought him from fighting for equal rights “by any means necessary” to fighting for justice peacefully.
“Teach Me About Garvey” Read-Aloud
Teach Me About Garvey shares the story of Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican political activist and founder and first president-general of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League, through which he declared himself Provisional President of Africa.
Brown v. Board of Education
Brown v. Board of Education was a case brought to the Supreme Court in 1954 after Linda Brown, an African American student in Kansas, was denied access to the white-only schools near her house.
“A Picture Book of Jesse Owens” Read-Aloud
Before Usain Bolt or Tyson Gay, Bob Beamon, or Carl Lewis, Jesse Owens was perhaps the greatest and most famous athlete in track-and-field history. A Picture Book of Jesse Owens tells his inspiring story.
Black History Month Tribute to Mary Mcleod Bethune
Take a trip back in time to celebrate Mary Mcleod Bethune, an icon in education.
“Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History” Read-Aloud
This chapter of Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History tells the story of James Mercer Langston Hughes, one of the earliest innovators of jazz poetry. He is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance.
“Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History” Read-Aloud
This selection of Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History shares the journey of Ruby Bridges, the first African American child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis on November 14, 1960.
Sojourner Truth—Abolitionist & Women’s Rights Pioneer
Sojourner Truth was an American abolitionist and women’s rights activist. She was born into slavery but escaped with her infant daughter and became the first Black woman, in 1828, to successfully sue a white man for a family member’s freedom.
How Nelson Mandela Fought for Equality and Freedom
Nelson Mandela is famous for his fight against apartheid in South Africa. His unique efforts for peace and reconciliation transformed his country, and he ultimately became president.
“Little People, Big Dreams: Maya Angelou” Read-Aloud
In this read-aloud of the international bestseller from the Little People, Big Dreams series, discover the incredible life of Maya Angelou, the powerful speaker, writer, and civil rights activist.
Black History Month Profile: Serena Williams
Serena Williams has won 23 Grand Slam tennis singles titles, the most by any player in the Open Era, and the second-most of all time.
NASA Black History Month Astronaut Profile—Jeanette Epps
NASA astronaut Dr. Jeanette Epps talks about inspiring young girls and recalls who encouraged her to reach for the stars when she was growing up.
Calvin Peete Profile: Black History Month
Calvin Peete was the first successful Black player to not move up through the caddie ranks. Now a World Golf Hall of Famer, he won the prestigious THE PLAYERS Championship in 1985.
Can Kids Change the World?
The fight for civil rights didn’t just include adults, it included kids like 7-year-old Ayanna Najuma, who braved harsh consequences to make their communities more inclusive. To learn more about Ayanna and other Kids Who Fought for Change, visit this resource from Scholastic.
Why Do We Celebrate Black History Month? Facts for Kids
Watch as these kids explore how Black History Month was created to honor and celebrate the contributions of Black Americans to the United States.
Miss Jessica’s Black History Month Song
This Grammy-nominated song from Miss Jessica’s World is a celebration of Black excellence in American history both past and present. You can download the karaoke version for the classroom!
Sesame Street: Celebrate Black History Month Compilation
Celebrate Black History Month on Sesame Street! Join Elmo, Gabrielle, and Tamir as they sing their new song “Listen, Act, Unite,” from Sesame Street’s “Power of We” special. Then, rediscover favorites ranging from Will.I.Am’s “What I Am” to Erykah Badu’s song about friendship.
“I Am the Dream” Black History Song for Kids
Head over to Mr. Pete’s Playhouse for this new anthem for kids. “I Am the Dream” inspires kids to believe that they can be and do anything while celebrating the strong Black figures who helped pave the way for them to succeed!
“The Undefeated” | Black History Month Kids Read-Aloud
Join Ms. Mera as she reads the powerful book The Undefeated, written by Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Kadir Nelson.
What Black Lives Matter Means to Kids
Join the Kind Crew for a powerful episode with motivational speaker Nyeeam Hudson as they share how to use the power of art and honest conversations to fight racism.
Black History Videos for Middle and High School
Black Lives Matter: Crash Course Black American History #51
Learn about the Black Lives Matter movement and some of the major events that contributed to the rise of BLM, including the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and George Floyd, and the way that social media was used to gain support for the movement.
Dred Scott v. Sandford
Dred Scott sued his master for his freedom, and Judge Robert Taney ultimately issued two historically consequential rulings. First, African Americans were not citizens and had no right to sue in court. Second, Congress did not have the constitutional authority to ban slavery from the states.
Jesse Jackson: Crash Course Black American History #44
Reverend Jesse Jackson is a civil rights activist and icon who began his long career working with Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s and continues to contribute to the movement for Black lives today.
Emmett Till—American Freedom Stories
On August 24, 1955, a white cashier lied and claimed that 14-year-old Emmett Till flirted with her. Four days later, two white men tortured and murdered the teenager. His murder galvanized the emerging Civil Rights Movement. This is one of the most moving Black history videos for students.
Harriet Tubman: Biography
Harriet Tubman was an incredibly brave woman who risked her own life to free hundreds of slaves from plantations via the Underground Railroad.
Shirley Chisholm: Crash Course Black American History #43
In 1972, Shirley Chisholm ran for president of the United States of America. While she didn’t win, she did have an incredible career in politics, holding a congressional seat in the New York delegation for decades.
The Electrifying Speeches of Sojourner Truth
Get to know the story of Sojourner Truth, a woman born into slavery who became known as a powerful orator and outspoken activist.
Marcus Garvey: Biography
Marcus Garvey was an orator for the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, and although at times controversial, he is considered a national hero in Jamaica and inspired the Rastafari movement.
Brown v. Board of Education in PBS’s The Supreme Court
This video covers the Supreme Court’s historical rejection of segregation in southern schools. This is one of the most relevant Black history videos for students on this list!
Women and the Black Power Movement: Crash Course Black American History #40
Women have always been a powerful (and largely underappreciated) force in the movement for Black equality in the United States. Learn more about how they contributed to several organizations and the Black Arts Movement.
NASA Black History Month Employee Profile—Matthew Bailey
Matthew Bailey is the operations manager for the National Transonic Facility Complex at NASA’s Langley Research Center. The facility is currently testing a model of the Space Launch System, the rocket that will send humans to the moon by 2024.
Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas: Crash Course Black American History #46
Revisit the Supreme Court confirmation hearing of Clarence Thomas during which Anita Hill testified that Thomas, her former coworker, had sexually harassed her when they worked at the Department of Education. Thomas’s nomination was ultimately confirmed by a margin of 52-48, making him the second Black American appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Oprah Winfrey—American Media Proprietor and Talk Show Host
Watch a mini-biography of Oprah Winfrey, who ascended from an impoverished childhood to become one of the most powerful and influential celebrities in the world.
Rap and Hip Hop: Crash Course Black American History #47
Learn more about the origins of rap and hip-hop and the cultural significance of artists including Public Enemy, Wu-Tang Clan, the Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, N.W.A., Queen Latifah, and Missy Elliott.
Black History Month Profile: Gloria Walton
Gloria Walton is the CEO and president of The Solutions Project, a national nonprofit that helps fund organizations looking to create climate solutions in communities of color.
Moments in History: Remembering Thurgood Marshall
Thurgood Marshall was one of the country’s greatest jurists and civil rights advocates, but he was also a gifted storyteller.
The Tuskegee Experiment: Crash Course Black American History #29
This video covers a dark and horrifying chapter in American history, the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, which was carried out by the U.S. Public Health Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1932 to 1972.
Civil Rights and the 1950s
Take a trip back to America in the 1950s and the early days of the Civil Rights Movement.
The Harlem Renaissance: Crash Course Theater
In the 1920s, there was a blossoming of all kinds of art made by Black people in Harlem. Authors like Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston were writing plays, and Black theater companies were drawing larger audiences than ever before.
The Black Panther Party: Crash Course Black American History #39
Learn about the Black Panthers, a relatively small, relatively political party that made it their mission to expand the rights of Black Americans and had a major impact on U.S. history.
Quincy Jones Biography: Life and Career of the Producer and Composer
This short documentary celebrates the legendary life and career of top American jazz musician, composer, arranger, record producer, and entrepreneur Quincy Jones.
Equal Protection: The 14th Amendment
Spark a discussion on the 14th Amendment with a focus on the “equal protection” clause and how it relates to civil rights.
Nelson Mandela: Civil Rights Activist & President of South Africa
Nelson Mandela was a nonviolent anti-apartheid activist, politician, and philanthropist who became South Africa’s first black president.
Maya Angelou—Civil Rights Activist & Author
Maya Angelou was an American author, actress, screenwriter, dancer, poet, and civil rights activist best known for her 1969 memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
Beyoncé Is the Highest-Grossing R&B Artist
In honor of Black History Month, Billboard featured Beyoncé, highlighting some of her most incredible achievements.
Hurricane Katrina: Crash Course Black American History #49
Crash Course’s Clint Smith discusses his experience as a teen in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Black residents were hit the hardest with structural racism playing a catastrophic role.
Serena Williams and Misogynoir: The Meaning of Sexism and Racism Towards Black Women
Author and SUNY Stony Brook professor Crystal M. Fleming explains what misogynoir means and why Serena Williams calling out sexism at the 2018 U.S. Open Final was a critical moment for Black women.
Barack Obama: Crash Course Black American History #50
Barack Obama was the first Black man elected president of the United States, in 2008. Learn more about his early life, political career, presidential campaign, and legislative milestones.
Black Lives Matter Movement
Watch Global Citizens share their thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement. This is one of the best Black history videos for students right now.