February is Black History Month. More than just a remembrance, it's a powerful opportunity to highlight Black culture, contributions & achievements throughout the decades. As caregivers, we have the unique and powerful opportunity to highlight this vibrant heritage for our kids. Books and movies are a wonderful and accessible place to start!
Here's a curated list of age-appropriate books and films that are meant to not only entertain, but also educate and inspire children. We’ve also included a few ways to drive home lessons learned with family activities and discussions.
Remember, each story shared, and every conversation held with our little ones brings us one step closer to a world filled with more love, compassion and equality.
Black History Month Resources for Families: Books
Age range: 5-9
This powerful picture book tells the true story of Henry "Box" Brown, a slave who mailed himself to freedom. It conveys lessons of resilience & bravery!
Age range: 2-6
This beautifully illustrated book celebrates the diversity and beauty of Black hair. The story follows a young girl who learns to love and take pride in her unique hair, exploring different hairstyles and the cultural significance behind them.
Age range: 5-9
This book offers a look at the Children's Crusade of 1963, a significant event in the Civil Rights Movement. Told through the eyes of a young girl, it's an inspiring story of courage and the power of peaceful protests.
Age range: 2-6
An important read that portrays the dreams of young Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space. It's a story about dreaming big and the power of perseverance!
Black History Month Resources for Families: Movies
Age range: 7-14
This heartwarming film tells the true story of Phiona Mutesi, a girl from Uganda who becomes a chess prodigy. It's an uplifting tale of determination that's just perfect for this age group.
Age range: 8-14
Akeelah's journey to the National Spelling Bee is a captivating tale of hard work and triumph. The film highlights the importance of believing in yourself!
Age range: 7-12
Based on the novel by Christopher Paul Curtis, this film is a wonderful blend of humor and historical significance. It's a great way to introduce children to the Civil Rights Movement in an accessible way.
Activities and Discussions: Making History Come Alive
Incorporating these books and movies into interactive activities can enhance the learning experience for your kids. After reading a book, encourage your children to retell the story in their own words or through drawings. This helps with comprehension and retention! After a movie, you might also consider discussing the themes, characters and historical context of the movies. This is an excellent opportunity to talk about important values and historical events.
For younger kids, you can engage in crafts that relate to the stories or historical figures they have read about or watched. For example, you could create a simple rocket model as a family after reading "Mae Among the Stars."
Celebrating Black History Month with our children through books and movies is more than just a learning experience—it's a way to open their hearts and minds to all cultures. These stories included in this list are just a few of the excellent resources out there that are windows into a world of resilience, courage and creativity. They offer lessons that are valuable not only during Black History Month but throughout the year.
Let's use these resources to educate, inspire and empower the next generation to build a world rich in understanding and respect for all cultures!
Further reading for Black History Month:
How do you and your family commemorate Black History Month? Do you have any favorite books, movies or other resources to recommend? Drop them in the comments!