Also commonly known as Black History Month, “National African American History Month in February celebrates the contributions that African Americans have made to American history in their struggles for freedom and equality and deepens our understanding of our Nation’s history.”
Monthly celebrations like this are a great opportunity to introduce young children to history and diversity in ways that are easy to grasp.
Books can be a helpful resource and support to teach kids a variety of themes, from feelings and emotions to relevant social experiences and even history, especially when we feel like we may need some extra support or creativity to really drive the concept in.
When it comes to Black History Month, we have a built-in theme to focus all our reading time on and help our little ones gain at least a basic understanding around the fight for civil rights and the incredible individuals who have struggled and sacrificed in the name of freedom.
Where to start? Your local library! You can usually find a nice variety of titles in the children’s section of the library. If there is a book you have heard of and are interested in getting but your library does not have it, make sure to check with your librarian as they may be able to get it on loan from another library.
And do not worry if you are not as well versed as you would like to be. You will get to learn from the books as you read with your children, and perhaps it will be a motivator to educate yourself a lot more as well. Your children may ask you questions you are not sure how to answer, and this is a great opportunity for you to be honest and tell them you are learning too. Perhaps you will be able to find the answer together!
One of our family’s favorite series for learning about history and diversity is Brad Meltzer’s Ordinary People Change the World books. During Black History Month, you can start with “I Am Martin Luther King, Jr.,” “I Am Harriett Tubman,” and “I Am Rosa Parks.”