At First Chance for Children, we believe in the importance of celebrating differences and talking about diversity all year long. Black history month gives us the opportunity to start those conversations with our loved ones.
Conversations with Young Children
Teaching children from an early age about Black history is as simple and significant as teaching their ABC’s. Today, parents and educators have access to so many different tools, strategies, and resources to learn more about this subject that has, in the past, often been overlooked in early childhood education. We hope to point you toward a few tools you can use to teach and celebrate Black history not only during Black history month in February, but all year long!
How can young children benefit from learning about Black history? Here is an easy way to remember how books that reflect the Black experience benefit ALL young children:
A – they Affirm the experiences of Black people and the value of diversity
B – they inspire all children to Become changemakers for a better, fairer world
C – they Celebrate the achievements that Black people have made in all areas of American life
If you’re interested in learning more, here are 5 books to help teach babies and toddlers Black history. Looking for ways to continue the conversation but aren’t sure how? Consider these 5 tips for talking to your child about diversity.
Conversations with Other Adults
While it’s important to start conversations about racism at an early age, it’s neve too late to educate ourselves on Black history, racism, our biases, and Black joy. Here are three articles we think can help spark conversations.
“There is no American history without African American history,” said Sara Clarke Kaplan, executive director of the Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University in Washington, D.C. The Black experience, she said, is embedded in “everything we think of as ‘American history.’ ” This NPR article describes how Black History Month got started and why it’s in February.
Black women in America have more than a three times higher risk of death related to pregnancy and childbirth than their white peers. This fact is alarming and should compel all of us to reflect on ways we can educate and advocate for ourselves and others.
Cal State Fullerton African American studies professor Mei-Ling Malone explains: “Black joy is an act of resistance. The whole idea of oppression is to keep people down. So when people continue to shine and live fully, it is resistance in the context of our white supremacist world.”
We hope that you’ll take the time to read, watch, listen, and lift up Black voices this month- and all year long. Because when we know better, we can do better.