African Centered Holiday Calendar: Spring Semester

You can even face paint at your celebration!
You can even face paint at your celebration!


I pray that your semester is off to a wonderful start.  This semester, we are going to begin celebrating African Centered School Holidays.  This is a component that I have been wanting to incorporate into our home school schedule for a while.   On the traditional American academic calendar, children are out of school on days like “President’s Day” and “Columbus Day”.  These days celebrate George Washington, a slave-owner, and Christopher Columbus, a pioneer of murder, theft, and slavery.  Which holidays allow our children to reflect on the work that our ancestors and living legends have done? Martin Luther King’s birthday is just one day out of each year.  Since we have control of our curriculum and pedagogy as home schoolers, we should also take control of our holidays.

“Since we have control of our curriculum and pedagogy as home schoolers, we should also take control of our holidays.” 

Some African Centered home schoolers choose some of these holidays to break from school.  Alternatively, you can use the day as an opportunity to research that particular person, while continuing other schoolwork.

Below is a calendar that I put together.  Each month includes notable African Americans’ birthdays as well as which African countries gained their freedom from colonialism that month.  We will be having a Sherehe (sha-RAY-hay: Swahili for celebration) on the last academic Friday of each month.  Think: printed pictures of the featured African Americans, short student presentations on their biographies, food inspired by the African countries which became independent that month, creative research projects presented on those countries, desserts, dollar store party favors, face painting, the sky is the limit!  You can also invite other home schooling families and make it a potluck Sherehe.

Of course, there are many notable African Americans’ and Africans’ birthdays which are not included on this calendar.  That’s for you and yours to have fun changing each year!  Enjoy, and God bless

January –

2 John Hope Franklin

5 Alvin Ailey

7 Zora Neale Hurston

12 James L. Farmer

15 Martin Luther King, Jr.

26 Bessie Coleman

31 Jackie Robinson

January Independence Days:

1 Cameroon, Sudan

2 Libya

February –

1 Langston Hughes

4 Rosa Parks

5 Hank Aaron

6 Bob Marley

10 Leotyne Price

14 Frederick Douglass

17 Huey P. Newton

21 Barbara Jordan

23 W.E.B.Dubois

27 Marian Anderson

Independence Days:

18 Gambia

March –

1 Ralph Ellison

4 Garrett Morgan

10 Harriet Tubman

11 Ralph Abernathy

17 Huey Newton

17 Nat King Cole

17 Norbert Rillieux (inventor)

31 Jack Johnson (boxer)

Independence Days:

2 Morocco

6 Ghana

12 Mauritius

20 Tunisia

April –

1 Wangari Maathai

5 Booker T. Washington

9 Paul Robeson

23 Granville Woods

27 Coretta Scott King

27 August Wilson

29 Duke Ellington

Independence Days:

27 Sierra Leone

27 Togo

May –

2 Elijah McCoy

6 Martin Robinson Delany

13 Joe Louis

19 Malcolm X

20 Touissant Lou’verture

26 Miles Davis

30 Countee Cullen

Independence Days:

18 Zimbabwe

24 Eritrea

31 South Africa

June –

3 Dr. Charles Drew

7 Gwendolyn Brooks

10 Hattie Mcdaniel

21 Henry Ossawa Tanner (painter)

25 James Meredith

26 Aime Cesaire

27 Paul Laurence Dunbar

29 Stokely Carmicheal

Independence Days:

20 Mali, Senegal

25 Mozambique

26 Somalia,Madgascar

27 Djibouti

29 Seychelles

30 Zaire


Nikala Asante is a mother, college student, martial artist, yoga lover, poet, painter, and vegan who enjoys sunlight, Africana studies, and working with children.


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