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February 1, 2024
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Dora Ricci


State Education Department Commemorates Black History Month With Inspiring Exhibitions, Events, and Educational Programs

Resources, Online and In-Person Programming, and Public Broadcasting Events Available Throughout February Across the State

The Moral Arc Toward Freedom: Lincoln, King, and the Emancipation Proclamation Special Exhibition Opens February 13

In honor of Black History Month, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) proudly recognizes the profound history, culture, and invaluable contributions of African Americans to the State and nation. Through February, special exhibitions, educational resources, and compelling in-person and online programs will be available, highlighting the significance of Black history in New York State. The monthlong celebration underscores the value of fostering unity and solidarity among diverse cultural identities and highlights the role of education as a unifying force that bridges these varied experiences.

Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. said, “The celebration of Black History Month is more than just about commemorating the significant contributions of people of African descent to American history and culture. It provides an opportunity to recognize and honor the achievements of a people who have made a tremendous impact on our society and have often been overlooked or undervalued. By learning about their struggles and triumphs, we can better understand our shared history and work towards a more inclusive and equitable future. The Board of Regents and the New York State Education Department remain committed to igniting and inspiring teaching and learning to build a culture and society based on a foundation of access, opportunity, trust, and respect for all New Yorkers.”

State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa said, “Black History Month is a tribute to those who came before us in the relentless pursuit of freedom, justice, and equality while advocating for a better future and more inclusive society. As we participate in this month’s events and programs, let us not only celebrate the accomplishments, pride, courage, and resilience that define the Black experience but also strive for a future where the principles of liberty, inclusivity, and equity are universally embraced.”

New York State Museum:

New York State Library:

New York State Archives Partnership Trust/New York State Archives:

  • Teaching with Historical Records is available for use during Black History Month and beyond. The continuously expanding collection of document-based activities is developed by the New York State Archives Partnership Trust and teachers around the state. This resource is available to New York State educators with ready-to-use archival resources and learning activities aligned with the New York State Learning Standards. It contains original New York State Archives primary sources and learning activities along with many educational materials.
  • During February, on the 11th floor lobby of the Cultural Education Center, a special exhibit, Before Brown: Desegregating New York’s Public Schools, will highlight the early mid-20th century school segregation battles in Hempstead and Hillburn that were taken on by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, a civil rights firm founded by Thurgood Marshall. Education resources are available on

New York State Public Broadcasting:

  • Learn more about Black culture and history in New York State and beyond with PBS Learning Media. A variety of multimedia support materials are available for the classroom suited for grades PK–12. To learn more about these resources, visit the PBS website.

Offices of P12 and Cultural Education:

Social Media:

  • #BlackHistoryNY: Throughout the month, the State Education Department will feature information on Black History on the Department’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts.
  • #MyHistoryMyFuture: The State Education Department and Education Trust—New York are highlighting students’ work and reflections on the impacts of history and its relevance to their generation. Through the #MyHistoryMyFuture social media campaign, the Department intends to amplify the voices of young people. We encourage students to not only reflect on the past but to be proud of where they come from and take action to make their schools, communities, and the world a better place for future generations.
  • #StudentsExhibitingMLK and #NYSMLK: Together with the New York State Office of General Services, the New York State Education Department is highlighting artwork by students from across New York that honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s messages of equality, love, and peace. This campaign may be viewed on the Department’s social media accounts. View the NYS Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Art & Essay Exhibit online or in person on the Empire State Plaza North Concourse in Albany.