117 billion. This is the estimate of people who lived since the beginning of time. That’s a lot! Imagine the history, the events, and stories all these people could tell. And with the wealth of knowledge that has been passed on from generation to generation, it’s quite puzzling how history still tends to repeat itself - especially with oppression and injustice. Though in different forms, it is found in every era.
This is why Black History month is so important. It encourages us to see what we have to learn from history’s mistakes, as well as the victories. Theodore Roosevelt said, “The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.”
I was inspired by Danyale Reed’s 20 Important Lessons to Teach Our Kids About Black History Month to be intentional about talking about Black History with my kids. Here are a few that challenged me:
1) Black history is American history
Slave ships arrived a year before the pilgrims first landed in America. We can’t separate Black history from American history.
2) History isn’t always pretty
It’s easy to ignore ugly truths of our history. We need to have the courage to learn the uncomfortable parts of our past in order to understand injustice anywhere and change the future.
3) The cultural impact of black leaders
Black leaders not only shaped America - they shaped the whole world. Let’s celebrate them.
4) The contributions of black scientists
You may know George Washington Carver (one of my favorites!) and Neil DeGrasse Tyson, but what about Garrett Morgan who invented the modern traffic light and gas mask?
5) Explain what racism is
Racism is not just the extremes of slavery or lynchings. It’s treating someone differently based on their ethnicity and it strips a person of their value and dignity.
6) Explain slavery
Kids need to hear us talk about what is right and wrong so don’t shy away from explaining how people cannot be property and why empathy for others is important.
7) Talk about the Civil Rights Movement
It reshaped our nation in profound ways so talk about it. Don’t assume your kids will understand the importance just because it’s taught in school.
8) Why diversity is important
Understanding another person’s perspective is rich and makes us better people.
9) Avoiding stereotypes and prejudice
It’s easy to stereotype based on assumptions instilled in us by our family, friends or education. Show your kids how to be aware of this and give every person a chance based on their personal story and reputation.
Check out the full article: https://mom.com/momlife/205298-important-lessons-teach-our-kids-about-black-history-month
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