Cheerful little girl sitting on father shoulder while playing with mother at home.

Black History is American History

Peace at Home January 28, 2023 | Tanika Eaves

Although Black History Month is recognized during the 28 days of February, many would say that the experience of African-Descendant Americans is a 365-day-a year journey. The resilience, determination and innovation of African-Descendant Americans is integrated into every aspect of American life. Therefore, Black History is American History and should not be limited just to Black Americans or 28 days of the calendar year.

As our nation grapples with its identity and the sort of future we envision as a society, it’s more important than ever for all parents to consider what they want to teach their children about what it means to be human and to belong. Talking about race, cultural differences and our country’s history doesn’t have to be a chore. Answering questions about differences as basic as skin and eye color to differences as complex as religious beliefs or cultural practices is a critical first step towards instilling a sense of respect for the humanity of all people. 

Biases and prejudices often begin in the home. The best place to deconstruct and challenge biases and prejudices before they take root, is in the home. You might just be raising your child to make the world a better place for someone else’s child!

Talking about race and culture in ways that match your child’s stage of development can be a challenge. Here are some great books and films to explore together: 

Books:

  • Born on the Water, Nikole Hannah-Jones (young children through elementary school age)
  • Homemade Love, Bell Hooks (young children)
  • Hair Love, Matthew A. Cherry  (young children through elementary school)
  • I am Enough, Grace Byers (elementary school)
  • The Undefeated, Kwame Alexander (elementary to middle school)

Films:

  • Akeelah and the Bee (middle and high school)
  • Hair Love (whole family)
  • When They See Us (high school)
  • Hidden Figures (elementary to high school)
  • Soul (whole family)
  • 42 (elementary to high school)

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