“I have a confession,” my gal pal told me.
My nerves weren’t ready for this. What was this gal about to admit to me? I held on to my invisible seat.
“My kid doesn’t have any books that have Black characters in them.”
Oh. I wasn’t going to judge her. I’m sure she’s not the only non-Black mama whose kid doesn’t have books with characters that don’t look like them. I was just happy that she admitted that this might be a problem and that she wanted to fix it.
Black History Month is a HUGE deal in our home. I’m not saying that because I’m Black. Black History is American History and I think it’s important for our children to realize this. Racial tension has been pretty prevalent in the news lately and I have no problem helping educate and bring light to these injustices. This matters to me as these issues directly affect me, my family members and friends. It’s ugly out there but Black History Month is the perfect time to celebrate, help educate and inspire your kiddos to learn about African-American culture.
And newsflash…you don’t have to be Black to participate. Woohoo!
The best way to do this? Add some books to your kids’ collections that highlight Black characters and figures. Who doesn’t love a good book? Head to your local library, bookstore or Amazon and pick up some of the following books. Have discussions with your children. Ask their teachers what kind of books they’re reading in class. Learn with them!
Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters – John Steptoe
Look What Brown Can Do – T. Marie Harris
My People – Langston Hughes
The Patchwork Quilt – Valerie Flournoy
Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad – Ellen Levine
100 African-Americans Who Shaped American History – Chrisanne Beckner
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
Black Boy – Richard Wright
A Raisin in the Sun – Lorraine Hansberry
A Wreath For Emmett Till – Marilyn Nelson
These flashcards are great for all ages because they do a great job at helping children of all ages (and adults, too) recognize and learn about many of the customs, traditions and history surrounding Black people. My 3-year old is already able to go through and understand a great deal of these. And she has fun, too!