37 Black History Videos for Students in Every Grade Level

For elementary, middle, and high school classrooms.

Collage of video stills from videos for Black History Month

We’re living through unprecedented times—a pandemic, civil unrest, and a contested election—and 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 leader our communities deserve. Here’s a list of Black History videos for students in every grade level. 

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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 African-American 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 over 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 with peace.

“Teach Me About Garvey” Read Aloud

Teach Me About Garvey shares the story of Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican political activist, 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 as we 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 and is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance. 

“Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History” Read Aloud

This section 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 to go to court to recover her son in 1828.

Civil Rights: A Kid-Friendly Explainer

In this BrainPOP video, Tim and Moby introduce kids to the American Civil Rights Movement of the ’50s and ’60s.

How Nelson Mandela Fought for Equality and Freedom

Nelson Mandela is famous for his fight against racial segregation in South Africa, the Apartheid. His unique efforts for peace and reconciliation transformed his country.

“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 singles titles, the most by any player in the Open Era, and the second-most of all time.

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

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.

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 sacrificed her own life to free hundreds of slaves from plantations via the Underground Railroad. 

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. 

Malcolm X, Civil Rights Leader and Black Nationalist

Learn about the life of Malcolm X, his years in jail, subsequent conversion to the Nation of Islam, and his message during the Civil Rights Movement before his assassination in 1965.

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’ 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!

From Jesse Owens to Usain Bolt: a history of the Olympic 100m dash

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAWJ_NLQfkA

From Jesse Owens clocking 10.6 seconds at the first Olympics to Usain Bolt destroying the world record, let’s take a look at the fastest men on Earth in the Olympic 100m.

Oprah Winfrey — American Media Proprietor & 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.

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.

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 African-Americans in Harlem. Authors like Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston were writing plays, and Black theater companies were drawing larger audiences than ever before. 

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 Fourteenth 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 nonviolence 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.

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.

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. 

Plus, check out 33 Black History Month Activities for February and Beyond.

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37 Black History Videos for Students in Every Grade Level

Posted by Jeanne Croteau

Jeanne is a mother of six (including toddler twins!), writer, homeschooler, and social sciences professor. She loves cooking, reading, and dancing in her kitchen.

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