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KhiaKarma's avatar

Do you have any ideas for Black History activity for senior citizens group?

Asked by KhiaKarma (4235 points ) February 19th, 2013 from iPhone

Hello everyone! For my work at a Community Agency, I typically lead a biweekly group to the adults in our Adult Day Care program. This week it has been suggested that I present with the theme of black history. Since I am a mental health counselor, I try to add an element of self discovery or increased awareness/ coping skills to the discussions. I am not black but the audience is primarily African American. I am looking for ideas and hoping that some of you wise peeps can help me brainstorm. I have found lots of stuff for kids- but not adults…. And I have 1 hour for the activity. I would appreciate any ideas…

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15 Answers

janbb's avatar

How about leading a discussion on each individual’s first memories of racial pride or racial prejudice?

Or for a lighter topic, memories of ethnic food or nursery songs are rich ones.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Accomplishments by Blacks that affect everyone’s day to day life would be one place to look. Or the Black pilots in WW2 that did so well might be good. I’ve got Triple Nickels stuck in my head, but I’m not sure if that was them. Let me look.

janbb's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe The Tuskeegee Airmen were one group.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

My bad, they were the 99th squadron.

janbb's avatar

Another nice thing to do would be to bring in some African-American big band records and play them and either dance or discuss the musicians; Duke Ellington, Dizzie Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, for example.

Or bring in books of artists such as Jacob Lawrence, Horace Pippen and Romare Bereden and show the pictures and discuss their themes.

I just mounted a display for my college library on African-Americans in the arts.

Kardamom's avatar

You could have a discussion and sampling of foods that were originally from Africa that were brought over with the slaves and how those foods, along with other foods from the US farms where slaves lived/worked (that were not fit for the slave owners) became part of the cuisine of the African Americans (then and now) that is commonly referred to as “soul food.” Here’s a link to some Info about the subject of food.

Judi's avatar

How about a karaoke day doing African American inspired music? Or even a sing along.

gailcalled's avatar

The story of the black American jazz musicians who fled to Paris between the world wars for a better life both musically and personally.

PBS just did a wonderful documentary:Harlem in Montmartre There are some particularly wonderful shots of Josephine Baker, the singer, who agreed to spy for France during the German occupation in WWII, and carried info written in invisible ink on her music sheets.

“After the war, for her underground activity, Baker received the Croix de guerre and the Rosette de la R├ęsistance, and was made a Chevalier of the L├ęgion d’honneur by General Charles de Gaulle.” Source

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flutherother's avatar

Famous black people? Everyone in the group could pick someone to learn about and report back. There is Obama, Nelson Mandela, Paul Robeson, Rosa Parks, Mohammed Ali, Jesse Owens, The list is endless and covers everything, music, politics, sport, literature etc. Something for everyone.

KhiaKarma's avatar

Thanks for all the ideas! Very, very helpful!

Judi's avatar

You can record THEIR stories. There is an African proverb that says “When an old person dies a library burns to the ground.”
You could preserve THEIR library and make a highlight DVD of their stories that they all could enjoy.
A woman who works for my sister did this for her masters thesis.

Kardamom's avatar

@Judi That’s a great idea!

susanc's avatar

I so agree with Judi. Stories of exceptional people are actually pretty easy to find and many of us have them well in mind. Stories of the other people sitting in the room will be fresh and exciting.

Judi's avatar

Here is the website for the saving libraries project .. They might be able to help you figure out how to go about interviewing people and recording their stories.

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