Black History Curricilum Design Case Study
Social Lessons Black History Curriculum Case Study
Stelo Stories is an award-winning film studio that is dedicated to creating films that tell the stories of young people who documented their lives during extreme moments in history. They are focused on connecting these stories with 21st century peers through social media. The DuSable Museum of African American History is the oldest independent museum of Black history in the USA. It was founded in 1961 and is dedicated to preserving, collecting and exhibiting the history, culture and art of African Americans.
One of the challenges faced by Stelo Stories and the DuSable Museum was the lack of interesting and accurate Black history content that was available. Moreover, Black history was often only discussed during Black History Month, which limited its exposure and impact. The goal was to create learning materials that would cause a paradigm shift in the way Black history is taught, consumed, and learned, and to create an era of pride in Black people.
Stelo Stories and the DuSable Museum decided to create educational content for social media that would pair bite-sized Black history lessons with highlights from the Equiano Stories film. The instant lessons, designed by scholars, provide historical and cultural context to specific parts of the film, allowing young people to learn about various parts of Black history and culture while they watch. The Social lessons were created in such a way that they could be used as a learning resource in or away from the classroom.
Yvonne Mbanefo played a critical role in the creation of the social lessons that paired bite-sized Black history lessons with highlights from the Equiano film. She worked with a team of scholars, including Dr. Akinyele Umoja of Georgia State University, Dr. Kim Dulaney of the DuSable Museum, Dr. Greg Carr of Howard University, Danny Dunson of the DuSable Museum, Adi Kochavi and Maya Kochavi of Stelo Stories. Yvonne helped design the social lessons by providing context about Igbo history and culture and giving context where needed.
She also supplied the images used in the lesson design, as well as the sound effects, stock photos, and sourced archival photos from colonial collections. Yvonne also liaised with the illustrator that drew the Igbo cultural images, ensuring that the content was both accurate and visually appealing. Her contributions helped make the social lessons an engaging and educational resource for students, teachers, and parents alike.
The social lessons were very popular with both teachers, students, and parents. They are especially appealing because they can be used as a classroom group activity or a solo learning resource. Questions that viewers of the film have for each scene are instantly answered on the social lessons, making it a great tool for both learning and engagement. The success of the project shows the importance of making Black history accessible and relevant to young people and demonstrates the impact that creative and innovative learning materials can have on changing attitudes and perceptions.