Ways to Engage With African American History All Year Around

African American History Month was established in 1976, and it was meant to help folks learn about the contributions of African Americans to the world. For years, African American history was relegated to the month of February and elective classes.

While African American History Month is still a great way to honor the contribution of African Americans, we must also recognize that there is no reason to relegate that history to one month because African American history is American history.

As you are speaking with your child this month about African American History, remind them that they can read books, listen to music, enjoy paintings, watch movies and learn the history of Blacks Americans any time of the year. Not only can they; they should.

Below is a list of resources for students of all ages that you and your child can enjoy throughout the year.

Ages 4-7

Change Sings by Amanda Gorman and Loren Long (2021)

You may remember Amanda Gorman from President Biden's Inauguration. She wrote and read a poem that had the country filled with hope and pride.

In this picture book, you will meet a young girl who goes on a musical journey where she meets a host of characters and teaches them about the power they have to make changes.

You Can Do It by Tony Dungy

Yes, that Tony Dungy of the NFL. This is a story about Dungy’s little brother who is living in a family where it seems everyone knows what their “thing” is. The little brother, Linden, is on a journey to find out what his talent is.

Becoming by Michelle Obama- adapted for young readers

How fun would this be as a mother-daughter read? Mom can read the adult version; the daughter will read the adapted version. Imagine the discussions that will emerge and the closeness that would result. In this book, Michelle Obama discusses her humble beginnings, her family and education and the value that hard work had in her life.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jaqueline Woodson (2014)

Written by an award-winning author, Brown Girl Dreaming is Woodson’s own story of what it was like growing up in the 1960s-70s.