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Four Thoughtful Ways to Teach Students About Black History

A black blogger and mom shares Four Thoughtful Ways to Teach Students About Black History

I think public and private schools should find opportunities to celebrate diversity so it’s a natural part of the educational experience. That being said, a great way to celebrate Black History Month would be to invite poets, authors, and people who are living who have made huge contributions to their community to visit the school. Children should learn that Black history makers are still alive today. In fact, just last month I met American Inventor Dr. Lonnie Johnson, who holds more than 120 patents. He is probably best known for inventing the Super Soaker water gun. Children need to know that Black Americans are still making an impact today around the world.

Teach Students How to Analyze History And Study Own Their Own

Next, teachers should also teach students that when we study history we are not studying a complete story, but are learning only one or a few perspectives. History is usually told by the people who were in power or from the winner’s point of view. Therefore, students should be taught how to identify bias, motive, and recognize that if you want to learn different perspectives, you will have to do more research on your own to get a broader understanding.

Black History Month Should Show Us How to Embrace People from African Descent

In addition, on a regular basis, teachers should use diverse toys, puzzles, and books that reflect America. Teaching about the black experience should not begin with slavery, it should begin with Africa, the foundation of the world, and African’s contributions to world cultures, agriculture, astronomy, exploration, engineering, mathematics, etc.

Black History Month Should Ignite Some Positive Actions

Next, on a more personal level, it’s important for our children to see us in diverse environments so visiting museums like the National African American Museum of History and Culture is a great way to show the varied experiences and accomplishments of Black Americans. To make a real impact though, it’s important to spend quality time with or have dinner with a family of African American descent because children remember experiences and the way we interact with each other in our own personal environments, so these are the types of situations will help them feel comfortable around others. If you’re not ready for dinner, go see a movie together, or a play. In this region, there are usually events at Publick Playhouse, Harmony Hall, or even local libraries.

Reader Discussion/Participation

What are some questions that we should be asking teachers at our children’s schools when it comes to the value of Black History Month? Below are a few questions that I came up with, how would you answer them? Leave your answer in the comment section below.

  • What are some ways that public and private schools can celebrate Black History Month?
  • What should teachers and parents do if they don’t feel that their classrooms’ history books don’t paint the full picture?
  • How can teachers celebrate black history month and help other ethnic groups in the classroom feel included?
  • What are some ways that parents can celebrate Black History Month in their own homes or community?
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