Happy Black History Month, readers! For me, it’s Black History Year. And among a few “woke” Educators, it’s Black Future Month. Yes, that’s right. This month we reflect and share our effective teaching strategies for building present and future Black leaders by reaching back, or honoring our past accomplishments and achievements. As well as recognizing the current brilliance in our communities, families, and of course our children. In my twenty years as an Educator I have had my fair share of teaching about Martin & Rosa. No shade! They, of course, were heavy-hitting civil rights activists. There’s no doubt about that. But how many other Black achievements and/or accomplishments have made it into traditional early childhood curriculum? And are young children ever even exposed to a Black history that was not in constant struggle or conflict with “the man?” Well we would like to share some of our child-friendly titles about Black history that have won over our young students all year round. Here are 6 ways (and titles) to read about Black history with young children.
1. Read stories that make Black history relatable and enjoyable.
2. Read stories that connect Black inventors to children’s everyday life.
3. Read stories that depict Black leaders as children making changes in their communities.
4. Read stories about Black leaders in expert roles.
5. Read stories showing Black leaders as one big connected family.
6. Read stories that celebrate the building blocks of Black history.
By no means is this list exhaustive. Please feel free to add your classroom’s Black history favorites in the comments below. Although the number of authentic children’s books with Black images is not even close to ideal, there are a number of quality picture books that are available that will keep young children engaged and leave a positive impression on them. Teaching Black history to young children should always be a pleasant exchange. Share your experiences in the comments below.