Black History Month is here, which means it is time to teach my children about their history. Let me fix that statement. Black History Month is here which means I am continuing to teach my children about their history and now the educational system is putting emphasis on the basic black heroes in America.
But in this month of celebration, I try to continue to emphasize the importance of our black history so that they don’t feel as though I am downplaying the month dedicated to my ancestors.
This is how am I celebrating Black History Month with my little ones:
- I am going beneath the surface: We all know the Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jrs., George Carvers. But what about Madam Efunroye Tinubu, Claudette Colvin, Benjamin Singleton? The unspoken heroes that lie far beyond the stories that are told in movies or in text books. Those are the stories I want my children to know. I also want them to know of their history before their ancestors became slaves. The history that shows when they were kings and queens; the history that tells of how they built the pyramids that still to this day cannot be remade. The grace and richness of our culture. These are the things that my children will be taught. They are more than the descendant of a slave. You are the descendant of royalty!
- I am making it fun: Along with the depth of the history, I try to throw in some fun things to celebrate the month. There are lots of different events that happen in the month of February that you can attend. I recommend checking out Pan African Connection in South Dallas for African Drum lessons, African dance classes, and much more. Also, celebrate the small things, certain songs that are historic for Black people, movies that came out this month. Celebrate your child for something that they did that is historic in your household! They are the future, but they are making history today!
- I make sure the lesson continues after the month ends: just because Black History Month is over doesn’t mean that the story has to end. Celebrate our history year round because it deserves to be celebrated at all times! Teach them our cultural poems so that we they get older they can pull on those magical words. “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die life is but a broken wing bird that cannot fly” – Langston Hughes. Make Black History a lesson that never ends and it continues to grow every single day.
However you choose to celebrate it, the most important part is making sure that the conversation continues. African Americans have made some wonderful contributions to American History and although one month seems like a long time, it is definitely not enough time to celebrate the full wealth of history of Black Americans. I’m excited to have another year to teach my kids their history, and you should be too!!