4 Ways To Teach Our Children About Black History Month - YUMMommy

4 Ways To Teach Our Children About Black History Month

Black History Month isn't over yet folks!  And if you haven't taken the time to at least talk to your children about what Black History Month is and why  it is so important, I encourage you to do so.  And please don't think that this is something that only Black or African American children need to learn about because it isn't.  I truly believe that children of all racial backgrounds need to gain knowledge of struggles and triumphs experienced by African Americans (and non-American Blacks) to help them better relate.  Today, I'm sharing 4 ways that we can teach our children about Black History Month.




Books

For centuries now books have been used to educate our children.  So, why not use that as a starting point to get conversation started about Black History Month?  I think this is an especially great place for non-Black families to start because they may find it difficult to find an angle to introduce the topic their families or simply might not know how a lot about the topic themselves.  After all you can't speak on what it's like to be Black unless you're well...Black.  Thankfully, there are tons of children's books out there about famous African Americans and Black History Month. 

A few of my favorites are: 


Music

Now, what child doesn't like music?  From babies to teenagers they all like a catchy tune.  And you'd be amazed at how many songs today sample lyrics and beats from older songs.  So, why not use music as a way to introduce children to Black History Month.  You can talk about how Louis Armstrong was one of the founding fathers of jazz or learn the words to 'Lift Every Voice and Sing'.  

Crafts

I've come to learn that nothing excites younger children more than a trip to playground or candy except crafts.  They absolutely love arts & crafts time.  Therefore, seize that excitement and jubilee as a teachable moment.  Going back to music, you could make instruments like the African harp or fiddle out of items like paper towel rolls, boxes and other household materials.  Or you could keep it really simple and do coloring pages.  Kids love crayons!  Check out this gallery of printable Black History coloring pages: click here.

Museums/Tours

I come from a hometown that is rich with history from slavery and the Civil War to being the home of Dizzy Gillespie.  And every year, we have tons of tourist who come through for our Spring Festival to take tours of our historic district and visit our only museum all in the name of learning more about the past.  And much of that past has to do with Black History, slavery and the Underground Railroad.  As a child, I remember going on several different walks (tours) of my hometown and seeing houses that were used to help hide slaves on their journey to freedom.

It was definitely interesting for me.  And I think that as long as you keep trips to the museums or tours under two hours, kids will be interested too.  Also, it helps if you try to go to places that are kid and family friendly.  They tend to have items that children can touch or interactive displays.

So, there you have it, 4 simple (and inexpensive) ways to teach your children about Black History Month.  And remember that Black History is something that can and should be celebrated 365! 




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47 comments

  1. Awesome post. I planned on taking my children over to Birmingham next week on their winter break to see their civil rights museum. Unfortunately there is snow planned for this week that may cancel their break.

    I went to the library last week to get my son some books and had a hard time finding some because they didn't have any type of display. This is a great list for me to work from.

    Thank you!

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    1. I would love to take a trip with my family to Birmingham. That place is so rich in Black History lessons! And thankfully out library has been good at restocking their displays and keeping Black History books up. We've made a few trips already this month and sampled the selection.

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  2. Excellent Post. I have been thinking about how we will incorporate black history at home. This is a great start. It will be a learning experience for us all.

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    1. Yea, I'm still learning and researching some new activities that we can try out next year.

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  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog today! This is an awesome post! I will definitley be checking out this books over the summer (Once I've finished my thesis :) )
    SITS girl love

    Juls x

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    1. You're welcome and good luck with your thesis!

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  4. Great post, Elizabeth! We make it a point to teach our children about Black History year 'round. I just ordered a couple of books for Black History for William from his classroom's Scholastic Book Club order. He has been OBSESSED with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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    1. Way to go for William! Dr. King, Jr is a great person for him to be obsessed with. And agree that we should teach Black History year round. We check out books from our library year round related to Black History as well.

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  5. Hi there! I love your idea of using music. I have a 15 year old who just loves music and the history of how it has come about. We are lucky in our town (although it's little) we have the Harriet Tubman Home and lots of museums/arts. It's helpful in teaching our children about black history. Do you movie recommendations?

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    1. Pride, Remember The Titans, and The Great Debaters are all kid friendly and good movies to get the conversation started about Black History.

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  6. It's funny that I stumbled on your blog today, because I am working on a guest post with this VERY topic! Some of our suggestions like tours and going to the library are the same as well! I love all of your suggestions and plan to incorporate them with my children this month as well.

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  7. Great post about teaching children about Black History Month! I love the suggestions that you listed, and I would encourage anyone to read it. I also wrote a post on why Black History Month was important and what we can do to close the divide that currently exists! I totally agree with you, that Black History Month is not only for Black people, but it's for all people to try to understand each other's culture! Wonderful post! #SITSBlogging

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    1. Thank you! Headed to check out your post. Hopefully, at some point in the future the divide will be closed. We can't give up on Dr. King's dream. We have to pass it down from generation to generation until one of them gets it right.

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  8. This is a really great set of resources, thank you for sharing! I'm pinning to my homeschooling board so I can reference it every year. Thanks! :)

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    1. Thanks Julie for pinning it! I'm glad you liked my post.

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  9. Great post and awesome suggestions! New friend stopping by from SITS.

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  10. Using music is a great idea. Schools usually do crafts and lectures, so having a museum field trip is also a great idea!
    #SITSBlogging

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    1. I was definitely, I big fan of the museum trips and tours as a child. It's important to take the learning outside of the classroom sometimes.

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  11. I am a big women's history buff, too, so I naturally enjoy learning about women in black history. Sojourner Truth comes to mind immediately. I literally stumbled upon a statue of her when I was visiting Northhampton, Massachusetts a few years ago. Now I visit it whenever I go back there! (It is gorgeous!) I also enjoy finding bits and pieces of history when members of different ethnicities come together for one another... sort of that "it takes a village" concept. Black history, women's history, handicapped people history - we need to love and celebrate one anothers likeness and differences all the time. So grateful you continue to share. (doesn't #sitsblogging rock?)

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    1. I agree that it takes a village and taking the time to learn about the history of those different from us can help us better come together as a village. It's very important for our children to have the exposure to different cultures and communities as well and I try my hardest to make sure that my children get that.

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  12. Great post and fabulous suggestions. Sharing the #SITSBlogging love!

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  13. Great post! Another SITS girl #SITSBlogging

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  14. I'm torn on this one. As the mom of biracial children, I resist the whole Black History- Other history thing because I believe that black history is AMERICAN history, and should be fully incorporated into history rather than just giving it a month to look at it- to me it isn't separate. I know it has been, and I think that its shameful, but part of me thinks that by singling it out for a month might raise awareness, but in the bigger scheme of things, it allows our educational system to relegate it to "special studies" status, rather than the integral part of our shared history that it truly is. I guess until things really change, this is the way that it needs to be, and I do talk to my kids about it during the month of February, but part of me is still very sad that I have to, that it isn't just part of what they are learning 9 months a year anyway….

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    1. I can see your point. However, as a Black person period, I love having a month to celebrate MY history. Black History is not just American history. Our history goes beyond the point of when we came here whether on slave ships or by free will. The American portion of our history is just a tiny fraction of what Black History Month is all about. There's Nelson Mandela, historical figures from the Bible, King Tut, Queen Cleopatra and more that I teach my children about during Black History month and those persons aren't really a part of American history.

      And as I mentioned in the post it is up to us as parts to make sure that our children our learning about Black History (or any history) 365. Our homes can serve as learning environments too. We don't have to wait on schools to start teaching about Black history beyond February. At the end of the day, we are our children's greatest teachers and it's up to us to pick up any slack we see.

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  15. Thanks so much for this post! I love the book suggestions :) #SITSblogging

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  16. I am former classroom teacher. Anything by Kadir Nelson. #sitsblogging. Great stuff.

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  17. I love your suggestions for the picture books! As a teacher, picture books were definitely my go-to for teaching my students about different historical events and people. A favorite of my students was the book, Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt.

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    1. Aww..I love Sweet Clara and The Freedom Quilt brings back memories.

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  18. I so agree that it is our role to teach in the home, first and foremost. I love that you have a broad, inter-curricular span of what can be taught and how. Teaching outside of the classroom is imperative, and seeing the relevance of history is an important aspect of education that some of our young people are missing. I am a mixed person, and I have multiracial children. I do understand the significance of Black History Month, and celebrate the accomplishments of even having such a venue today; but, I still believe that we should broaden the history. We should make it more diverse and allow our children to see that even from the Diaspora stems diversity, and history. Though it is merely a part of who I am, I embrace my African American heritage, and I also want my children, and others to know that we are a strong people with a rich background.If a month of history is how we can convey this, so be it, for now. But, as you said, it all starts at home. Thanks for the fabulous post. #SitsBlogging

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    1. We can definitely broaden the spectrum by taking the teaching into our own hands! I don't believe in waiting for the school to teach it. If we want our children to know it, we have to be proactive and get involved ourselves! Thanks for your comment and visiting.

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  19. This is a great post hun. We can't allow the schools to appropriately teach our children about our history. I couldn't agree more with this post. xoxo

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    1. No, we can't! It's so important that we take on a teaching role of our own.

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  20. WONDERFUL piece! So glad you outlined the ways that families can acknowledge Black History month. And even better? You reminded everyone that this isn't something that's only for African Americans. We have such a rich background that includes many people who helped to build this country. EVERYONE should share in that history. Good stuff girl. :)
    New friend visiting from SITS :)

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    1. Yes, we do have such a rich history in helping to make America the great super power it is today. I hope that more people start to acknowledge and study up on it and pass that knowledge down to their children. Each one teach one.

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  21. Great suggestions. When we lived in South Carolina I took my kids to the old "Slave Market" in downtown Charleston. They loved watching the ladies weave the beautiful baskets. They were mesmerized and the ladies talked to them about what that place they were sitting represented. It was a great teaching moment for them. Kathleen @ Fearlessly Creative Mammas #SITSBlogging

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    1. I've been to the old Slave Market in Charleston and it is a great place to take kids and get the conversation started about Black History. There's so much to see there and learn.

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  22. I absolutely LOVE this post... Folks, don't understand what our ancestors had to go through so we can be where we are today. And, it needs to start with our youth! Thanks for sharing... I need to invest in a few books for my Godson and little cousin!

    Xoxo
    Lynn

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    1. I agree that some our youth are in desperate need of Black History lessons. Quite a few of them are absolutely clueless about the price that was paid for our freedom or that we weren't just slaves, but kings, queens, business owners and more.

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