Teach Your Children About Black History

Most children recognize black icons like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Frederick Douglass, but this Black History Month, we encourage you to go beyond well-known African-American trailblazers and teach your children about other notable heroes in black history.

You can approach teaching your children about black history in various ways, like through children’s television programs. PBS Learning Media has an awesome lineup of short history lessons featuring icons such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, sociologist and civil rights activist W.E.B. DuBois and more. PBS also created an interactive, informative and fun site for children called African American World for Kids. Children can learn the rich history of African-Americans by reading these 25 black history books, as well. You are your child’s first teacher, so evoke their curiosity about their ancestor’s role in the making of this country. Take advantage of your child’s eagerness to learn and show them how to appreciate the unique differences in all people.

Here are a few points from PBS to help you connect your kids with black history throughout the year:

  • Buy a book by a black author or illustrator, like The Adventures of Sable Brown by Shalise Gardner, and make it part of your child’s permanent collection. 
  • Look for books that are inclusive and reflect the diversity of our communities.
  • When and if children ask questions about race, don’t sweep differences under the rug.
  • Make sure your selections include contemporary stories.
  • Seek the suggestions and guidance from knowledgeable cultural experts, booksellers and librarians. 

Use this month as a jump-off point to teach your children about black history all year long by introducing them to more diverse and inclusive books, television shows and websites that reflect other cultures and ethnicities. People of diverse backgrounds are more alike than different. If all children, no matter their race, learn this truth early, the world can be what Dr. King dreamed about.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of A Second Chance, Inc.

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