Kid-Friendly Ideas for Celebrating Black History Month

The month of February is nationally recognized as Black History Month, a month dedicated to exploring the stories and accomplishments of African Americans throughout U.S. history. Below, we’ve gathered some suggested resources to help your family celebrate this important month.

Understanding Black History Month

If you’re just beginning to introduce kids to the concept of Black History Month, start at the beginning by discussing what the month honors, how it started and why it is important. National Geographic Kids and PBS Kids both offer kid-friendly walk throughs.

Heroes, Pioneers and Achievements

There are so many African Americans that have made an impact on history that it can be hard to choose where to begin. National Geographic Kids has created mini biographies on a number of African American heroes, including Shirley Chisolm, John Lewis, Booker T. Washington and many more.

For younger learners or those that prefer video learning, The ABCs of Black History Month is a wonderful resource.

Picture books are also a great way to bring the stories and histories of Black trailblazers to life for kids. The list below gives some recommended books to start with for kids ages 3-8. For reading lists for older children, check with your local library.

  • “I Am Rosa Parks” by Brad Meltzer
  • “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters” by Barack Obama
  • “Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad” by Henry Cole
  • “Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave” by Laban Carrick Hill
  • “Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race” by Margot Lee Shetterly (picture book version)
  • “The Story of Ruby Bridges (Reissue)” by Robert Coles
  • “Under the Same Sun” by Sharon Robinson
  • “Mae Among the Stars” by Roda Ahmed

Celebrating Black history in Minnesota

There is a long list of African Americans that have had a profound influence on the history and culture of Minnesota. The Minnesota Historical Society’s Black History, Black Voices seeks to deepen that understanding. The initiative centers on Black narratives, history and issues through ongoing programs, content and resources created by members of Minnesota’s Black community.

Continuing to make a difference

Fighting for a just future where everyone is treated with kindness, dignity and respect requires continuous work to keep moving forward. Teaching kids about Black achievements, heroes and the history of Black culture helps create a new generation that will keep fighting for racial justice.

Explore more resources for talking to kids about race on our website and at Little Moments Count, a consortium of Minnesota organizations dedicated to early childhood development.

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