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New Ideas for Teaching Black History with Puerto Rico

When planning lessons for Black History Month, many teachers choose local events or a focus on slavery and civil rights. This year, consider including Puerto Rican history.

Why think about Puerto Rico this month? Most students living in states don’t study about Puerto Rico at all, even though Puerto Rico, as a U.S. territory, has belonged to the United States for more than a century. With Puerto Rico frequently in the headlines, your students should get to know more about the Island. Including Puerto Rico will bring new perspectives to your Black History Month lessons, too.

According to a National Geographic project, the average contribution of sub-Saharan Africa to the DNA of Puerto Rican residents is 20%. 10-12% of the residents of the territory identify as Black; this is about the same as the rate in the United States as a whole. Cultural connections like bomba dance and foods like mofongo show African influences.

Check out some information on Black history as it relates to Puerto Rico from our archives: 


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