- Black History Month: what is it?
- Why is Black History Month important?
- How can I teach my kids about Black History Month?
- Frequently asked questions about Black History Month?
While Black History Month is an integral part of world history, it is not a commonly covered topic in classrooms. However, getting your children excited about history and teaching them about Black History is essential as they can learn a lot from people who fought through some of the most challenging situations imaginable. 💪
This article will talk about Black History Month, its importance and how you can teach your kids about it.
What is Black History Month?
In the UK, Black History Month has been celebrated in October ever since 1987. Black History Month is seen as a 28-day recognition of the endeavours and achievements of all Black people, especially African Americans.
The purpose of Black History Month is to remember and applaud how Black Americans have overcome challenges and struggles. By teaching your kids about Black History, you enable them to engage with events of the past that will help them gain context of the future.
Why is Black History Month important? 🤔
As Lonnie G. Bunch III said at the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2016, "There is no more powerful force than a people steeped in their history. And there is no higher cause than honouring our struggle and ancestors by remembering."
Black History Month is important because the month-long celebrations enable children to reimagine the future. The celebration is seen as an opportunity for kids to go beyond discussions about struggles of slavery and get inspired by the achievements of Black leaders.
How can I teach my kids about Black History Month?
Teaching your children about Black History Month can be fun and educational. Here are some interactive learning suggestions that can help you teach your kids about Black History:
- Teach them through art 🎨 - You can get creative and teach your kids with art. For instance, you can help them create a collage of all Black leaders using cutouts from different magazines, books, or the internet. You can encourage them to learn more about each leader and their contributions.
- Cook with your kids 👦🍳 - Research and cook a meal that is commonly relished by people living in predominantly Black countries such as Nigeria, Jamaica, etc. Spend the day with your kid preparing the food and discussing the history of different dishes.
- Read a book 📚 - Encourage your children to read a book that celebrates Black history. Some of the best child books talking about Black history are:
- A Child’s Introduction to African American History by Jabari Asim
- Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson
- Watch a show together 📺 - Spending time with your kids watching a series online celebrating Black culture can be a good way to spend Black History Month.
- Have a family movie night - Just like books and shows, movies can be an excellent way to teach your kid about Black History. It would be best if you considered watching a movie about Black History that has a black protagonist.
- Visit a museum - If there is a museum in your vicinity that celebrates Black history, you should consider visiting it with your kids. Thanks to the internet, you can even visit museums such as The National Museum of African American History & Culture online.
- Attend a live offline/online class - During Black History month, many theatres and book clubs host Black History Month themed classes. These classes can be a good option if you are looking for an interactive way to teach your children.
- Answer their questions honestly - Your child might have many questions about Black History and people’s struggles that can be quite challenging to answer. The best way to answer them is with complete honesty, explaining everything in an age-appropriate language and ideas that resonate with them.
- Teach them about social justice - Let children know how they can participate in the dialogue in a more active way by teaching them about social justice and activism.
The best part about the suggestions mentioned above is that they can be done throughout the year. So, if your kid is ever curious to learn more about Black History, you don’t have to wait for Black History Month to teach them. Instead, make the most of their curiosity, turn lessons into interactive activities and help your kids learn!
Frequently asked questions about Black History Month
1. What is the origin of Black History Month?
Carter G.Woodson created Black History Month in February 1926. He is known as the “father of Black history” and first called the celebration Negro History Week. With Black History Month and his association for the Study of Negro Life and History, Carter encouraged people of all ethnic and social backgrounds to talk about the Black experience.
2. Why do we have Black History Month?
We celebrate Black History Month to appreciate the contributions of African American people in shaping the world’s history as the stories of their achievements are often overlooked in books and on screen. Thus, by celebrating the success of Black leaders, Black History Month changes the narratives from struggles and slavery to bravery and accomplishment.
In today’s world, where there is a need for racial equity and inclusion, children need to be taught about diversity from a young age. Celebrations like Black History Month can be an excellent opportunity to teach kids about history and help them understand a picture of the past. We urge you to look for fun and interactive ways and make the most of this celebration to educate your kids.