The problem with Black History Month is that only a portion of Americans think that it applies to them. That’s incorrect. Black History Month is the history of African Americans in the United States – that part of history is the history of all Americans. Though we may not have lived during slavery or even the Civil Rights movement, those events in history have made our society what it is today. It is my history, your history, the world’s history. Though you may not be of African American heritage, that does not mean that African American history is still not a part of your identity as an American.
We should all celebrate Black History Month and remember the great black leaders and events of our country. The best way to do that as a parent? Share America’s African American history with your children, because that history is their history.
Though some schools or teachers have a few activities about Black History Month planned, there are wonderful ways as a parent that you can introduce African American history to your children in ways that they will enjoy, respond to, and remember.
How many times do your children watch movies or cartoons in the car, on an iPad, waiting in line at the doctor’s office, or before they go to bed? What if there were engaging cartoons or videos for your children that also imparted aspects of African American history? There are! Even if you don’t show all of these videos to your children all year long, showing your children some of these during Black History Month will reinforce what children may already be learning at school.
Here’s a few of our favorites.
African American Leaders
This video shows Harriet Tubman’s story like a full cartoon.
One YouTube channel has 25 videos about Black History Month, many of them sharing the stories of famous African American leaders.
Click here to check out the other videos in this series.
Global Wonders has some wonderful short clips for Black History Month. The company focuses on teaching children about other cultures and history. These might be your children’s favorites as it features cute cartoon children learning about history and different cultures.
Kids Reenact Black Leaders
What makes this video so great is that it has children talking about Black history leaders. Your children will be able to relate to these children on screen and learn a bit about Black History Month. (We also love the children’s cute voice overs of major Civil Rights’ events!)
Books are wonderful ways to introduce your children to Black History Month! Take a trip to your local library and check out a few of these or ask the librarians for some suggestions. We especially love the recently published book about the Loving family who fought for interracial marriage!
(This one was one of my favorites as a young girl!)
Play a Game
Did you know that there are African American history games online? PBS Kids, African American World has one! Check it out and see how much fun your kids can have learning about history. National Geographic also has an interactive game that allows kids and teens to go on the Underground Railroad as if they were a slave running to freedom.
Go to a museum
Many museums will have exhibits in honor of Black History Month. Better yet, there are a ton of museums that are all about African American history. What’s more fun than a trip to the museum with the entire family where your children can also learn so much about their American history? Here’s a list of museums all across the U.S. that are devoted to African American history. However, rest assured that you probably live near a museum that will have a special exhibit during this month that you can take your children to.