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4 Ways to Study Black History With Children of All Ages

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February is Black History Month. It’s a month dedicated to celebrating the contributions and accomplishments of African-Americans throughout history. Officially recognized in 1976, Black History Month continues to be an important time of year that allows us to remember and celebrate American history and Black culture.

As we progress into more modern times, some people may wonder why we still observe Black History Month. In a country that has continuously strived for racial equality and inclusivity, it may seem unnecessary, but history is always relevant and important to teach. As Maya Angelou, an American poet, and civil rights activist has said, “It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity, there is beauty, and there is strength.”

Teaching children about our diverse history, empowers them to grow up with the knowledge needed to help society create a more inclusive, and diverse world. 

Here are some ideas for teaching children about Black History in ways that are accessible and fun for everyone.

Read and Learn

Most children love storytime, which makes children’s storybooks a great way to teach children about various subjects. This month, consider including some books that discuss African-American historical figures and events. Additionally, your child might enjoy reading some books by Black authors and/or illustrators.

Cook and Enjoy

Food is a fun way to celebrate. Why not carve out some time to cook (or order-in) some Pan-African-inspired cuisine? As you enjoy the food, take a moment to discuss its history in relation to Black culture, as food has always been a way to share collective experiences across the African diaspora.  

Research and Teach

The best way to engage children in learning is to cater to their interests. Consider what your children are interested in and use that knowledge to decide what they might like to learn about. African-American athletes, inventors, musicians, poets, and civil rights activists are just some examples that you might want to explore.

In addition to researching your own topics, Childwatch is a great resource for allowing childcare providers and parents to stay connected. The app allows communication about children’s activities and lessons which can help further their education.

Engage and Celebrate With Community

Celebrating at home and at school are fun ways to observe Black History Month, but there are also more communal options. Many children’s museums and libraries have events or special exhibits for Black History Month. Be sure to take a moment to check your local newspaper and Facebook groups/pages to learn more about what is happening in your area. 

These are just some ways to celebrate Black History Month. In fact, there are many other activities to do with your children, both at home and at school. Learning about history is not something we always prioritize, but it is important for everyone. As Martin Luther King Jr said, “ We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”