We honor Black history and Black experiences all year round

Leader Alert

Dear Jim,

Black History Month is coming to a close, and with all the attacks on the teaching of honest history, access to diverse books and more, I wanted to provide some resources we’ve developed and shared this month, to help you continue to teach, honor and include Black history throughout the year.

Today we released a very special episode of our podcast “Union Talk,” where we discuss Bayard Rustin and the incredible new film about his work. The film is a fantastic tribute to a vital, but often ignored, leader of our movement. It focuses on his role in organizing the March on Washington and is a must-watch for Black History Month. You can find Share My Lesson resources on Rustin and the film here. Our “Union Talk” podcast about Rustin and his work will be released in two parts and features some of the filmmakers as well as former AFT Secretary-Treasurer Dr. Lorretta Johnson, former AFT staffer Rochelle Horowitz—whose work with Rustin is featured in the film—and Clayola Brown, president of the A. Philip Randolph Institute. Please listen to the episode and share it with your members.

In times like these, Black History Month is more important than ever. We’re facing book bans that eliminate diverse stories from schools and libraries, and bans on teaching honest history in school. And there are growing calls to eliminate the diversity and equity work that is essential to both addressing disparate health outcomes for Black patients and ensuring Black students have access to higher education. It’s our job to have these conversations with our members, not just about fighting injustice and inequity but also about celebrating the history and culture of our Black communities.

We honor Black history and Black experiences all year round. We will continue to work to create equity in the workplace, and to ensure that our children have access to high-quality education at safe and welcoming schools and college campuses and that all Americans have access to high-quality healthcare and other public services.

Check out our website, podcasts and Share My Lesson for more. And if your members have stories to share with us about creative ways they have commemorated Black history, please be sure to flag it for us.

In unity,
Randi Weingarten
AFT President