Black History Month Activities to Honor African American Seniors

Show support for Black seniors with these four thoughtful activities.

 

 

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During Black History Month, honor the African American seniors in your family or in your life with a variety of engaging activities. Here are four great ideas for fun and informative Black History Month activities that will show love and solidarity for Black seniors.

 

 

Discuss Historic Events

 

 

Seniors could discuss their memories of the 1963 March on Washington or other historic events, as well as the progress that resulted. Gather in small, socially distanced groups if possible, or talk one-on-one with the senior in your life.

 

 

You might opt to create a designated discussion time for only Black seniors to reminisce about their experiences or discuss historic events, too. When discussing topics like America’s journey through the Civil Rights era, people who lived through the experience together may intuitively know how to be more sensitive toward one another or affirm one another’s emotions. Creating space for a more intimate sharing circle might allow for a different type of discussion than the one that takes place in a mixed group.

 

 

Sing Civil Rights Movement Songs

 

 

Learn the popular songs of the Civil Rights era to celebrate what it accomplished. Here are a few favorites:

 

 

  • “Lift Every Voice and Sing”
  • “We Shall Overcome”
  • “This Little Light of Mine”
  • “We Shall Not Be Moved”

 

 

NPR and The Nation offer some great renditions of Civil Rights tunes.

 

 

Hold a Soul Food Dinner

 

 

Serve up a classic soul food meal, complete with stewed collard greens, fried chicken or fish, black-eyed peas, and cornbread. For dessert, opt for sweet potato pie or peach cobbler. Play popular music by Black artists like Tina Turner, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, and Marvin Gaye. 

 

 

Have a Black Storytime

 

 

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Read classic works of Black literature, either in a socially distanced group setting, broadcast over a sound system, or one-on-one. Here are a few authors to consider:

 

 

  • Maya Angelou
  • Zora Neale Hurston
  • James Baldwin
  • W. E. B. Dubois
  • Ralph Waldo Ellison
  • Audre Lorde

 

 

Or, have a Black poetry reading, sharing the poems of authors like Langston Hughes and Alice Walker. Allow for time to talk about the works you’ve read afterward, giving discussion prompts.

 

 

If possible, involve seniors of all races and ethnicities in these activities to inspire solidarity. Also, when purchasing food or supplies for your events (or at any time), look into whether you can purchase them from Black-owned businesses. Showing support to the African American community is a wonderful way to honor them during Black History Month and all year round. Let seniors know about the thoughtful choices you made, so they can feel good about them too!

 

 

Sources

 

 

AllRecipes, “9 Things You Need to Know about Soul Food”
https://www.allrecipes.com/article/9-things-you-need-to-know-about-soul-food/

 

 

The Culture Trip, “12 Black Artists Who Changed Music Forever”

https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/articles/12-black-musicians-who-changed-music-forever/

 

 

NPR, “Songs of the Civil Rights Movement”

https://www.npr.org/2010/01/18/99315652/songs-of-the-civil-rights-movement

 

 

The Oprah Magazine, “44 of the Best Books by Black Authors You Should Read in Your Lifetime”

https://www.oprahmag.com/entertainment/books/g26187205/best-books-black-authors/

 

 

The Root, “20 Black Poets You Should Know (and Love)”
https://www.theroot.com/20-black-poets-you-should-know-and-love-1790868612

 

 

S&S Blog, “11 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month in Your Senior Facility”

https://www.ssww.com/blog/11-ways-celebrate-black-history-month-senior-facility/

 

 

Storiicare, “Unique Black History Month Activity Ideas”

https://www.storiicare.com/blog/black-history-month-activity-ideas