Black leaders are everywhere, and the Hispanic community has tons of inspiring leaders to feature and highlight in your high school Spanish lessons. Go beyond Black History Month with Afro-latinx representation throughout the year. There’s no shortage of inspiration for which leaders of color to showcase in your middle school lesson plans or high school Spanish activities.
This list of resources for Spanish teachers to celebrate Afro-latinos and the Afro-latinx community will make it easy for you to move beyond the trappings of the music industry into all professions and community leadership.
Watch the Full Demo Lesson Video
To make it easy to find quick-to-implement ideas you can use tomorrow, I‘ve compiled for Spanish teachers the very best highlights from my years as a Spanish teacher and the resources I used to celebrate Afro-latinx leaders in my Spanish curriculum.
Celebrate Black History All Year Long
Although these lessons are especially helpful for ideas for Black History Month in Spanish class, I had the most success in class when representation was a focus all year round. Your students of color will appreciate this too.
I recently had an interview with John Bracey about “Connecting with Students of Color” during my free virtual conference – you’re invited to the next one! – Practical & Comprehensible. One of his most powerful points was how weird and awkward it is to be a student of color and have a month to “celebrate a culture.” That culture is who he is as a human being. In his words, it was like he only belonged or was appreciated at school in February. Or even worse, that he was the uncomfortable center of attention.
Although honoring Black History Month is great, it can also be misused to be the only time we focus on representation and honoring Black History. John encourages us to combat the erasure of people of color from history by putting the stories of people of color back into the whitewashed curriculum.
Black History Month Ideas for Spanish Class
February as Black History Month will only land well with your students if you’ve been valuing Black contributions and leaders all year long. Otherwise, it can come off as a check in the block. I’ve made this mistake before. It felt forced and inauthentic. Conversations were entirely one-sided, led by me.
Have you ever felt like this in your class? It all changed when I flipped the point of representation in class to focus on two things:
1. celebrate leaders over oppression
2. representation all year long and especially in certain months, not just during certain months.
Spend More Time on Leaders, Not Oppression
The first part was very crucial – conversations in schools about Black history are dominated by struggle. While we’re not here to erase history, there are just as many stories of triumph, strength, and leadership. Why not highlight those in your Spanish class?
From this effort to show students more leaders and community heroes with Afro-latinx heritage, I curated a list over the years of the best Spanish materials to make this as easy as possible for you as the teacher.
Afro-latinx Leaders: Lessons for Spanish Class
Ready for the class on digital and in-person demo lessons for celebrating Afro-latinx culture in your Spanish class?
Here are all of the mentioned resources from the class:
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This post is part of the WoLang Wednesday class series. Every Wednesday, I go live @3pm EST either on instagram or facebook for a fun, casual chat on all things world language. Some classes are for French, some for Spanish, and many for both.
If you love this post and you’d like to go deeper on representation and the how to become a more culturally responsive teacher, check out this post on Culturally Responsive Teaching In World Language.
Decolonize Your Curriculum
Ready to learn more about Decolonizing your Curriculum?
Download the Roadmap to Proficiency for World Language Teachers. There are even more steps outlined in there for how to reframe your curriculum and lesson plans outside of a colonizer/colonized mindset.
Keep doing amazing work in your classroom and I can’t wait to hear about your lessons that celebrate Black excellence in Afro-latinx culture all year long.
Rooting for you,