Celebrating Black Culture & History in Afterschool


February is Black History Month, a month-long celebration highlighting the achievements of Black Americans and their contributions to our history.  

“We expose students to Black history and culture throughout the year,” says Willie Buford, associate director of YouthQuest for Flint & Genesee Education & Talent. “However, we really try to make a point to have a strong focus during Black History Month.” 

Teaching Black History is especially important at YouthQuest because of the community the program serves. According to Census data, 54.1 percent of Flint residents self-identified as Black or African American, the largest racial population in the city. 

YouthQuest introduces students to elements of Black history and culture throughout the year by featuring books by Black authors, embedded lessons in African American history, and providing clubs that explore African American culture, such as Drum and Dance Club with vendor Kuungana African Drum and Dance Company. 

During February, staff coordinates intentional events and activities to commemorate the month.  

Here are a few ways YouthQuest’s plans: 

  • Black History-themed family night partnering with the school district 
  • Student-created Black History Museum exhibit 
  • Black History Month-themed projects throughout February 

These activities – combined with continued learning – aim to help bridge the gap in education around Black history and culture and help students honor and celebrate the achievements of Black Americans in the past and today. 

YouthQuest is made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.