By Tracey Dowdy
February is Black History Month, a time when we focus on the achievements of black Americans and the integral role they have played in American history. Its origins stretch all the way back to 1926, when Carter G. Woodson and Rev. Jesse E. Moorland and founded The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, choosing the second week of February because it coincided with both Abraham Lincoln’s and Fredrick Douglas’ birthdays. In 1976, Gerald Ford designated the entire month of February as Black History Month, allowing us the opportunity to reflect, learn and examine the impact African Americans have made and continue to make on the world.
These apps are a great way to learn more about African American history.
There is no doubt Alabama was at the center of the Civil Rights Movement. The Alabama Civil Rights Trail app lets you explore civil rights landmarks across the state by visiting cities like Montgomery, Tuskegee, Selma, and Birmingham and explore an interactive timeline that shows you what it was like to live under Jim Crow Laws and segregation. It includes biographies of key figures like Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as well as information on places to visit to learn more about them. (Free – iOS/Android)
Covering everything from ancient civilizations to modern times, the Black History Month “BHM” Trivia Game will challenge and entertain you while you learn about key figures from Black history. Every game is different, as questions are randomly sorted and users choose between three levels – Easy, Normal, and Hard. The developers are constantly sourcing new trivia, so make sure you keep up with updates. (Free with in-app purchases – iOS)
Instead of reading about history or playing a trivia game, how about learning through music? The SFT Black History Radio app has over 50 songs that celebrate African American culture and its heroes like Sojourner Truth, Jackie Robinson and Harriet Tubman. It’s primarily geared toward younger kids (grades 2-6) but is certainly not limited to those ages. ($0.99 – iOS/Android)
The Martin Luther King Jr. Biography and Quotes app offers a comprehensive look at his life, views, ministry, leadership in the civil rights movement and the legacy he left behind. With a biography and database of his quotes, this is an essential app for teaching about the life and legacy of Dr. King. (Free – iOS)
The Martin Luther King Jr Quotes app gives you the opportunity to be inspired by Dr. King every day. The app features hundreds of inspiring quotes that can be sent as a notification on a daily basis or bookmarked for later reflection. The app works offline, can be listened to through Android’s built-in Text-to-Speech synthesizer, or shared via email, text, and social media. (Free – Android)
NMAAHC Mobile Stories is designed as a companion app for your visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. For its opening, the museum features five sets of stories: Building, Exhibition, Stories for Families, Outdoor and Stories with Multi-Media, each focusing on a different aspect of the museum’s development and exhibits. The app also includes maps, directions, hours, and other helpful information to help you make the most of your visit. (Free – iOS/Android)
Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.