February is Black History Month, a month dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the accomplishments and impact that Black Americans have contributed to America. The perfect way to learn and reflect on these topics is via literature.
There are great children’s books that explore topics related to Black History in a way that children can absorb and comprehend. These books educate children about the major contributions made by Black Americans as well as inform children of the historical struggles, as well as the current transformations and opportunities that are being created within the black community.
By reading to our children on Black History month issues, we are engaging our children to make a vow to participate and be the catalysts for social change and justice. We are also sharing with our children the experiences of Black Americans in a country where, primarily, European history flourishes.
The following is a list of children's books written by African Americans:
1. Roll Of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
2. The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate
3. Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia
4. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
5. A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara
As you read these books to your children, take small breaks to discuss themes presented in the books. Discussing these important issues can be daunting, but we must remember that children, probably even more than adults, will take notice when some children are treated differently than others. Children perceive and learn to give biased opinions, and what they learn is going to depend upon the source of the information. Getting that information from authors who are part of Black culture would be a good place to start.