6 Ways Young Children Can Read Black History

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.

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2. Read stories that connect Black inventors to children’s everyday life.

FAMILIES of DEEP text

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3. Read stories that depict Black leaders as children making changes in their communities.

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4. Read stories about Black leaders in expert roles.

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5. Read stories showing Black leaders as one big connected family.

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6. Read stories that celebrate the building blocks of Black history.

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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.

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2 thoughts on “6 Ways Young Children Can Read Black History”

  1. Your article resonates with me as it is true as book store owners, readers, educators and parents while we must continue to share the achievements of Martin and Rosa, we also need to share a broad range of experiences and achievements with the community. It is really important for them to see our community as leaders, innovators, educators and more.

    Here at Chez Alpha Books our challenge is to also share stories featuring children here in West Africa or the full continent and tell their stories as well. We love the Anna Hibiscus series because of the stories themselves but also how each book begins with “Anna Hibiscus lives in Amazing Africa!” This book series reflects a lifestyle in Africa this is beyond the stereotypical images of struggles and poverty and this is a reality and necessary to showcase.

    We have often featured the book One Plastic Bag and Planting the Trees of Kenya for community reading programs as it shows the African community actively engaged in saving their environment as opposed to waiting for foreigners to come and resolve the problem.

    Nappy Hair and I Love My Hair are older titles but with the number of adverts here featuring fair skinned women with flowing hair, we are also charged with the mission of making sure our girls and boys understand the beauty of skin color, hair texture, etc. ,

    Emmanuels Dream is just an overall wonderful story as it highlights the resilience of people who are physically challenged and all the opportunities available to them. Children often see handicapped people here on the streets begging only, but this book provided another much needed image. Our kids and parents have loved Broken Glass by Greg Burnham as it allowed us to slip in great lessons about making moral decisions and the importance of ethics while also having a good time.

    We certainly need more books about our leaders here in Senegal, but when Denzel Washington said, “if it’s not on the page, it’s not on the stage” it made me think perhaps I should write the books I want our children to read!

    Continued success as I greatly admire all that you are doing!

    Like

  2. I am loving Tutu Story Books! Such great collection of African Books that cannot be found in our local library. I ordered a book titled “I’m a Brilliant Little Black Boy!”online, and received in the mail in 2 days (free shipping), and excellent customer service.

    We could not wait to read the book. In fact, after opening the package, we read it right away. My son enjoyed the book so much that we read it twice. He even asked for it to be read to him a third time.

    I cannot wait to build my home library with such great book selection!

    Thank you Tutu Story Books for the introduction to a vast array of these African Books. They are truly priceless.

    Like

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