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The Many Stories of Black History Month

Since 1926, February has been designated as a time to study and celebrate Black history in America. One aim of Black History Month is to examine the harmful consequences of racial prejudice and injustice. Another goal is to reflect on the major contributions that people of the African diaspora have made to all aspects of our shared American culture — including the arts, science, education, athletics, business, and political leadership.
A photo of National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman. Next to her is text reading Learning Snacks: The many stories of Black History Month and conversations about race and racism.

Connecticut Public presents special programming that focuses on the stories of African Americans. PBS Digital Studios has curated a YouTube playlist featuring short but powerful videos on topics from voting rights to the origins of jazz to Afrofuturism. (Adults will want to preview videos to make sure the content is age-appropriate for your child.)

PBS KIDS has many resources for young children that introduce concepts of racism, inclusivity, civil rights, and how to talk about feelings, listen to others, ask questions, and take action.

FOR KIDS: WHAT ARE CIVIL RIGHTS?

Children of any age can learn something about Black History Month. This video explains the history of the holiday. In the "PBS KIDS Talk About: Race & Racism" special, hosted by the country’s first National Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, real families have conversations about racial identity and anti-Black racism. These teaching resources can help you get your own conversations started.

What does it mean to "take a stand"? Sing along with Elmo and friends about "How to Be an Upstander to Racism," or watch "Arthur Takes a Stand" featuring late Congressman John Lewis.

FOR PARENTS: INCLUSIVITY IN ACTION

Many of our children have heard of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his fight for peace and equality. His inspiring stories have started inclusivity movements around the globe. By teaching children our shared American history, and acknowledging the hard truths, families can build compassion and empathy, and continue to work toward making the world a better place for everyone.

February also marks Take Your Child to the Library Day on the 5th! Visit your local library and check out one of these stories that feature strong Black characters and explore Black culture. Many libraries also offer themed programming for Black History Month, so ask your librarian for more details!

FOR EDUCATORS: BLACK HISTORY MONTH TEACHING RESOURCES

Try these activities to celebrate Black History Month, or play Learning About Black Leaders bingo games for grades PreK-K and grades 1-2.

Students in grades 3-12 can take a virtual learning journey through the Civil Rights Movement as they watch videos narrated by experts, analyze primary source documents, and reflect on the experiences of African Americans through history.

View the February Teach Your Way Calendar and PBS LearningMedia's Black History Month Resources for more information and activities. And consider taking this month as an opportunity to reflect and review these tools for anti-racist teaching for young learners.


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