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6 Ways to Introduce Black History Month to Kids


It's officially Black History Month and today we share with you some ways to introduce Black History Month to Kids.


As an African-American mother, it is my job to educate my children. February, however, is the perfect time to talk to kids about the contributions of African-American historical figures and culture to our society. It’s also a great time to look back at lessons learned and all of the struggles that have been overcome. While it seems like there are racially charged issues in the news every day, it’s important to teach children how far we’ve come and to inspire them to continue striving for positive change. But where do you start with really young kids? How do you get the ball rolling? Here are 6 ways to introduce Black History Month to kids.


1. Eat soul food. This cuisine dates back to pre-colonial Africa, but the term didn’t come about until the 60’s. The traditional West African diet was predominantly vegetarian for centuries, consisting of rice, peas, okra, hot peppers, and yams. Meat was used sparingly, as a seasoning, but that has evolved over time. Soul food is thought of as food of the South, where the word soul in the 60’s was used to describe African-American culture in general. Cook up some black eyed peas, chicken and dumplings, collard greens, corn bread, and vegetable soup to give kids a taste.

2. Listen to the blues. The blues originated on Southern plantations by slaves in the 19th century. The music evolved over time, from African spirituals, to hymns, to country music, to something sounding more like jazz. Little kids learn a lot from music. Ever notice that children’s TV shows always include songs? Sing and dance along to the blues! You can even try to play a few songs on instruments (kiddie or legit) that you have at home. Not sure where to begin? Try B.B. King or Muddy Waters.


2. Eat soul food. This cuisine dates back to pre-colonial Africa, but the term didn’t come about until the 60’s. The traditional West African diet was predominantly vegetarian for centuries, consisting of rice, peas, okra, hot peppers, and yams. Meat was used sparingly, as a seasoning, but that has evolved over time. Soul food is thought of as food of the South, where the word soul in the 60’s was used to describe African-American culture in general. Cook up some black eyed peas, chicken and dumplings, collard greens, corn bread, and vegetable soup to give kids a taste.

3. Read together. While you may not be able to get into the heavy topics with very young children, it’s important to start introducing them to black history, culture and civil rights as early as possible. Start with Coming On Home Soon or How Many Stars in the Sky? for Kindergarteners. Henry’s Freedom Box and Two Friends begin to tackle more complex subjects.


4. Sing a song. While This Little Light of Mine may be a simple Sunday school song, it actually became an anthem of the civil rights movement. It’s an easy one to sing with kids and there are even hand motions to make it fun. You might explain that one little light may not seem like enough, but when many gather, they can light the world.

5. Introduce Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Use the book Martin’s Big Words to introduce Martin Luther King to your little ones.  You can use this great biography website for kids to talk about other important civil rights leaders, like Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks.


6. Bake cookies. In Africa, sesame seeds are believed to bring good luck. Why not whip up a batch of sesame seed cookies together? For some sesame seed inspirations you can check out Pinterest. There's a plethora of sesame seed recipes just waiting for you to explore.



Annmarie John
39 Comments
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39 comments:

  1. I love, love, love soul food! I don't know if Scarlet will. I should have started her younger! I Love sesame seeds, so those cookies would be fabulous.
    I think the way to Scarlet's heart is through music, movies, and books.

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  2. My kids learn about it in school :) They just finished learning about MLK Jr a few weeks ago ;)

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  3. These are such great ideas! It's amazing to me just how little most people know about black history and about how much black people have contributed to our nation and the world over the years. Thanks for sharing this!

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  4. OK, so I need to do more of the above in all honesty. But you never have to twist my arm to bake cookies, ever ;) But still thank you for sharing some great tips on how exactly to celebrate Black History Month with my girls now.

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  5. These are definitely some great ideas. I'm looking forward to having conversations and doing activities with my students about Black History Month!

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  6. Cookies. Now that is totally my favorite treat and I would love to find some yummy sesame seed cookies to bake to celebrate this month! And I could use some good luck, too!

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  7. Great ideas! I love me some Ella Fitzgerald and some good soul food. Talking about it at home in addition to what is taught at school is important for any race to help us love and understand each others struggles. LOVE!

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  8. These are all great ideas. I will have to look at the biography website with my little niece and nephew.

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  9. I find going to an historic site, museum or statue like the one you have shown really solidifies a message and history for a child. At least it always did for me.

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  10. I think this is something that is very important for parents to introduce to their children. We love some good blues music in our house :)

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  11. These are awesome ideas! They are great for getting kids to listen and learn (listening to music, reading a book, really get kids into it).

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  12. These are really great ways to introduce Black History Month to your kids. I need to remember these for when my kids are old enough.

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  13. These are great ideas for getting kids to learn about Black History Month. Reading with them is a great way to get kids to learn about anything, and my kids always loved trying new foods that tied in with what they were learning.

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  14. Love these ideas! My daughter loved learning this history when she was younger and used to get mad when it ended. Saying there's more than enough to keep it going :)

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  15. These are great ideas!! I know my kids are loving learning about MLK especially with everything else going on in the world now.

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  16. Such great ideas especially for such an important topic!

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  17. Black History Month is a growing event here in the UK. This year it takes place in October. It is good to see it grow: not as much on MLK, but the children here learn about influential black Britons.

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  18. These are all amazing ways to explore Black History Month. We love soul food and I have even attempted to make my own greens.

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  19. My kids love to read, so that is the best way to introduce something this important to them. We have a book on Louis Armstrong it is one of my daughter's favorite books!

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  20. Love these ideas! We are hitting it hard this month since we home school.

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  21. I like the idea of spending some time reading about history and listening to blues. Teaching the kids about MLK is a great idea too!

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  22. I'm really glad the schools around where we live teach the kids about BHM. The city I lived in most of my life never did, and its important for kids to know! - Jeanine

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  23. I love the idea of of spending some time together talking about this. These are great ideas!!

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  24. What fun ideas! I love spending time with my kids in the kitchen so baking would be a great fit for us to introduce a little more celebration.

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  25. My kids' school is having a Black History month event- I'm going to bring a giant dish of collard greens! My kids don't like a lot of vegetables, but you add some bacon or ham hock and it's a whole new story:)

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  26. These are really great ideas! I always try to dedicate two weeks to teaching my daughter about Black History. Thanks for the great tips.

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  27. These are really great ideas! This is such a great time for kids to learn about black history. Thanks for sharing these ideas!

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  28. I love these ideas. My kids really are so interested in learning about history and this is perfect to introduce to them!

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  29. These ideas are great. My kids aren't in school yet so most everything taught is taught at home right now. Thanks for sharing.

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  30. Also talk about Black History all year round. There are accomplishments by Black Americans we should recognize right along with figures more prominently featured in history bookds.

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  31. I've grown up in a single ethnicity/nationality country and until I was 18 I had never even met any other ethnicity! So even now almost 10 years later I still find things I haven't realised - like that African American culture is so specific you as a parent really have to immerse your children in it so they understand. It's ever so interesting! And can we just talk about your matching hair for a moment? AMAZING!!! So cute! xx

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  32. This is so sweet you are introducing your children to black history month and hope it can continue beyond Feb. Hey I even learned something new about the soul food concept. I didnt realize it was coined 'soul food' in the 60s and that it was originally mostly vegetarian. Wow thanks for the history lesson on that@

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  33. Thanks for sharing these! I know my kids would love to learn more about black history and the important role it has played!

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  34. As a military wife who could barely handle her busy schedule I am truly glad I came across your post. I honestly feel like people should discuss this topic more often. Totally love those tips especially baking cookies!

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  35. These are great ideas! I think more should be done in schools to introduce it. Black History Month was never really mentioned in my school

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  36. I love the idea of learning about Black History Month through food and music. They do say we bond around food and music so this is a great way to share special time with your kids while also providing them with a connection to history.

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  37. These are fantastic ideas. I want to do more w/ the boys this month, including taking them to museums. Thanks, I will be sharing this!

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  38. I love these ideas! Listening to blues is a great way that I've never thought of before. I also like the idea of reading about it and baking cookies!

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  39. These are great ways to introduce Black History to kids. I especially like the tip about using soul food. That would work for all ages. Thanks again for sharing.

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[name=AnnMarie John] [img=https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X9gUeVik-ZY/WJjwNTOobII/AAAAAAABTJ4/qEhU0n62_AIo-j6-6LA2OFOr44lKCHASwCLcB/s100/AnnMarie%2BJohn%2BHeadshot.JPG] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook=http://www.facebook.com/theannmariejohn) (instagram=http://www.instagram.com/theannmariejohn) (twitter=http://www.twitter.com/theannmariejohn) (pinterest=http://www.pinterest.com/theannmariejohn) (email=mailto:annmarie@annmariejohn.com)

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