Join us in honoring Black History Month this February.
Black History Month is an annual observance originating in the United States, where it is also known as African-American History Month. It has received official recognition from governments in the United States and Canada, and more recently has been observed in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. It began as a way of remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. It is celebrated in February in the United States and Canada, while in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom it is observed in October.
The foremost purpose of Black History Month is to make all Americans aware of the struggle for freedom and equal opportunity.
For a family activity, consider sharing a book together. Here are eight recommended books to help better understand Black history in the United States :
The Story of Ruby Bridges
This powerful story of 6 year old Ruby Bridges speaks of her struggles as a young African American girl attending an all white elementary school. It's an inspirational story that teaches children about segregation, racism, and overcoming those challenges.
Life Doesn't Frighten Me
Poet Maya Angelou joined forces with illustrator Jean-Michel Basquiat to create a powerful book about courage for children. The drawings catch a child's eye and the poems share powerful and thought-provoking messages for little ones to help them realize their strength and faith.
This book takes us back to 1947 when Jackie Robinson became the first African-American player in Major League Baseball. He was taunted and terrorized by baseball fans, opposing players, and even his teammates on the Brooklyn Dodgers. Historical photos and watercolor illustrations transport us to the fateful game when Pee Wee Reese, the Dodgers shortstop, embraced Robinson on the field as his teammate in front of a heckling crowd of spectators.
Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
If you thought you knew all there was to know about America's journey to space, take a look further. This New York Times bestselling book tells young readers all about four black women whose work was responsible for NASA being able to launch men to space.
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
This New York Times bestselling book highlights 40 black women who made amazing strides in American history. It includes Sojourner Truth, Bessie Colman, and Maya Angelou to name a few. These biographies tell the stories of these women and are accompanied by bold illustrations.
Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad
This is the incredible story of Henry "Box" Brown escaping slavery by shipping himself to the north in a wooden crate. We learn that as a boy, Henry doesn't know his age because nobody keeps records of slaves' birthdays. As an adult working in a warehouse, he decides to take a major risk and mail himself in a box — to a world where he can have a "birthday" (his first day of freedom).
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The author weaves immortal quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.'s writings and speeches into this award-winning biography for kids. The multimedia illustrations carry readers from King's youth — when he first noticed "Whites Only" signs — through his remarkable life as a leader of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.
The Other Side
The fence behind Clover's house marks the town line that separates black people from white people. Clover's mother warns her that it isn't safe to cross the fence, but Clover is curious to meet Anna, the white girl who lives on the other side. The two girls work around the rules of segregation and form an unlikely friendship by sitting together on top of the fence.
Talk with your kids about Black History Month using the following family friendly activities recommended by our Youth Development Team.