28 Black History Lessons for Both You and Your Kids

BY: - 29 Jan '17 | inspiration

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We’ve pulled together 28 Black History Lessons (activities and resources) that will allow you celebrate the achievements of African Americans, this month and all year long.


1. Tell Them Why Black History Month Matters

Year after year, we have to uphold the argument of why there should be a black history month.

But before we can educate the world about why we matter and why our history matters, we must educate our kids on why they matter.

Explore the origins of Black History Month and why is it necessary? History.com is a great place to start this journey with your children.

2. Explain Our History Through Family Reading

Reading together as a family can be a great bonding experience. So select a few age-appropriate books that will explain the struggle and the civil rights movement to your kids. Furthermore, by reading together, you’ll be able to break down certain aspects of the movement.

Here are a few that I particularly like:

White Socks Only By Evelyn Coleman
Synopsis: “In the segregated south, a young girl thinks that she can drink from a fountain marked “Whites Only” because she is wearing her white socks.”

I Have a Dream (Book & CD) by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Bernice A. King:
Synopsis: “My father’s dream continues to live on from generation to generation, and this beautiful and powerful illustrated edition of his world-changing ‘I Have a Dream’ speech brings his inspiring message of freedom, equality, and peace to the youngest among us—those who will one day carry his dream forward for everyone.”

The Story Of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles

Synopsis: “The year is 1960, and six-year-old Ruby Bridges and her family have recently moved from Mississippi to New Orleans in search of a better life. When a judge orders Ruby to attend first grade at William Frantz Elementary, an all-white school, Ruby must face angry mobs of parents who refuse to send their children to school with her.”

Click Here for a great list of more books.

3. Discuss Your Own Family History

Take out family photo albums and share pictures of your family: grandparents, great aunt and uncles, cousins and more. Facebook is also a great place to find pictures of family. Discuss family history, where you grew up, where your family is from, etc.

4. Get a Firsthand Account of the Pre-Civil Rights Era

Ask a parent, relative or family friend to share their experiences of growing up during the Jim Crow era and before Civil Rights legislation was initiated. Ask them to share the differences between how kids are growing up now and how they grew up. What can they share about the struggles and sacrifices that gave us the freedoms we enjoy today? Do they feel we have more work to do?

5. Take your kids to local Black History Month Events

Search on the Internet for Black History Month events in your area and make a plan to attend. Public libraries, museums and community centers are always great places to search for these types of events.

6. Visit Black History Sites

This may or may not require a day trip to travel to historic civil rights sites, but what an awesome trip it would be. We live outside of Atlanta, where there is a plethora of civil rights museums and monuments in Georgia and the surrounding states. Search the Internet for sites near you and make a plan to visit them with the family.

7. Review the Legends of Excellence Black History Collection

This Black History collection presents a continuing theme of overcoming obstacles in pursuit of achieving excellence through the examples set by the 10 individuals who are featured in the collection. It contains a DVD and poster and also a guide that can be used by parents, teachers to facilitate the learning.

8. Take a Virtual Tour of Famous Civil Rights Monuments

Without ever leaving your home, you and your kids can tour the most important places to the American Civil Rights movement by taking this virtual tour.

Here’s a list of 10 Great Places to Retrace the Civil Rights Movement. Check out each place online and discuss important events that occurred at these landmarks—lunch counters, bus stops, schools and churches. This list also gives you some travel resources for great black history experiences.

9. Address the Black Lives Matter Movement and Current-Day Protesting

How do you talk to your kids about the complex issues facing our society? For many parents, they are left at a loss.

Black Fathers Incorporated founder Kenneth Braswell was no different. He found himself unable to give an age-appropriate answer to a question about the Black Lives Matter protests posed to him by his then 6-year-old son. So, at the suggestion of a friend, he decided to formulate his 6-year-old answer in the form of a children’s book. Daddy, There’s a Noise Outside gives parents an opportunity to open up the dialogue of healthy protest.

10. Discuss Famous Black Inventors

Many of the world’s greatest technological advancements came from black inventors. Check out the awesome list of the black inventors on biography.com and also blackinventors.com.

11. Learn About African American Firsts

From Thurgood Marshall to President Barack Obama, let’s celebrate African American firsts. BlackPast.org has assembled a list, which provides the names of the first African Americans in a variety of areas of achievement. I think the beauty of this list it that it encourages others to follow in their footsteps.

12. Learn the Black National Anthem

Why did “Lift Every Voice and Sing” become the black national anthem, what are the words to this song,and who wrote it.   Answer these questions and learn more about the song that is now known as the Black National Anthem here.

13. Read and Discuss Black Literature

Check out this list of 10 African American Authors that Everyone Should Read. Select one of their books to read for Black History Month.

And here are 30 classic books to inspire African-American kids

14. Learn Your Genealogy

Researching your family background is so important, but it can also make the family stronger. It’s not just about learning about the past. It’s about building stronger relationships in the present because you are discovering a shared past.  Learning about your family history provides you with as sense of well-being, and it truly makes the family stronger and more connected.

Go to sites such as AfricanAncestry.com, Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org to discover information about your ancestors.

15. Follow the Underground Railroad Path

Learn about the Harriet Tubman and the Underground railroad via this on-line interactive experience.

16. Discuss the Importance of Entrepreneurship

Throughout history, African American entrepreneurs have played major parts in shaping the community and initiating change. And in modern times, their effect is no less influential. Recirculating black consumer dollars back into black businesses helps to build up our communities and establish our power.

Help your kids understand the importance of entrepreneurship to the black community. Explore this list of Famous Black Entrepreneurs.

Who are the entrepreneurs in your family?

17. Test Your Knowledge of Black History

Test your Knowledge of Black History by taking the following quizzes:

  1. Civil Rights Heroes Quiz
  2. Black History Quiz
  3. Extensive List of Quizzes and Crossword Puzzles

18. Understand Why Separate is NOT Equal

Learn all about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education and how it marked a turning point in the history of race relations in the United States.

19. Read Poems That Celebrate Black History

From Maya Angelou to Langston Hughes, here’s a list of poems that will help you celebrate black culture.

20. Celebrate Modern Day Achievers

The EBONY POWER 100 list celebrates the world’s most inspiring African Americans. Who is a modern day achiever in your life?

21. Get Inspired by Popular African American Quotes

Read inspirational quotes by famous African American leaders. Find a few to print and keep around your home. Click here for a list of a few great quotes.

22. Black History Month Coloring Pages

This is a great activity for the younger kids. They may be too young to grasp some of these lessons on our black history, but establishing a face recognition of some of our key historical figures is a great place to start for these little ones.

Click here or search Google for some color pages of icons like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, President Barack Obama.

23. Watch a Video of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech”

Many of us have read the speech or heard the speech in short snippets. But to achieve the full weight and magnitude of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” you must watch the actual video.

24. Learn Something New

Check out these 10 Little Known Black History Facts that will expand your knowledge about black history.

25. Complete a Black History Jigsaw Puzzle

What a perfect way to spend time with the entire family during Black History Month? Completing a Black History jigsaw puzzle together can be a great bonding experience.

26. Go on a Black History Month Scavenger Hunt

This is a great way to hone Internet research skills and teach your kids some history. Plus if you make it a competition between siblings, can up the ante on the excitement of learning about their history. Click here for how to create a Black History Month scavenger hunt.

27. Explore Black Art

The fine arts usually doesn’t get enough credit in our classrooms, so you know the black artists are most likely to get next to no mention. Educate your children about some of our great black artists. Here’s a great list from Biography.com.

Furthermore, this can lead to a deeper conversation with your kids. Many of the artists have works that spark political and social discussion along with their aesthetic interpretations.

28. Prepare for the next generation

Watch our movie Generation One: The Search for Black Wealth. Generation One takes a hard look at the numbers, giving historical context to early wealth creation in the black community and tapping the expertise of the nation’s top financial experts to weigh in not only on how blacks fell behind, but it also provides surefire strategies families can implement to begin building a strong financial legacy for generations to come. Read our pledge for generational wealth with the entire family.
Click Here to Download a FREE Copy of the BMWK Generational Wealth Pledge for Black Families!

BONUS: Keep learning about Black History All Year Long

dreamkeepers-imageWhile we appreciate the fact that we have a month to observe black history, we know that we should not limit our efforts to learn about our history to just one month. We want you to make learning about black history an on-going part of your educational endeavors. A great way to this is with the DreamKeepers Box,  a monthly subscription box that allows kids ages 8-12 to explore careers in science, technology, engineering, the arts and math (STEAM) and learn about amazing Black leaders.

BMWK – Please help us add to this list, leave a comment below if you know of great people and/or resources that we should add.

About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 528 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.


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True Love, Chocolate, and Jill Scott: 3 Perfect Ingredients for this Valentine’s Day

BY: - 8 Feb '17 | inspiration

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February is truly a celebratory month for me because two of my kids were born in February and then there’s Valentine’s Day. And although I am not one to go overboard by spending lots of money or planning super elaborate activities, I can appreciate these special times that are set aside to celebrate my loved ones.  As a busy wife and mom of 4, special occasions give me reason to slow down and be intentional. And with that being said, here’s why I think true love, chocolate and Jill Scott are the perfect three ingredients for this coming Valentine’s Day (or for any special occasion for that matter.)

True love, chocolate, and Jill Scott are the perfect three ingredients for any special occasion…especially Valentine’s Day.

True Love

True love is not necessarily about having a husband, girlfriend or special love interest in your life.  To me, it’s more about the people in your life that love you unconditionally. My mom love’s me unconditionally (even during those times when I know she doesn’t like me that much.) My husband loves me unconditionally, even when I know I get on his nerves. My bestie Krystall and I love each other unconditionally. We know each other’s secrets, the good and the bad, and we continue to love each other through it all.

So if you’re dreading Valentine’s Day because you don’t have that special someone in your life, then I want you to think about all of the people in your life that truly love you unconditionally. And you’ll find that you have a lot of people to celebrate with come February 14th.

Special days like your birthday or Valentine’s Day, mean so much more when your true love reaches out to say:  “I love You,” or “Happy Birthday,” or “I’m Thinking of You.”



me-and-baby-girlChocolate is one of my favorite things in the world and only my true loves would know that.  To me, chocolate represents any thoughtful gift – which is a key ingredient for the perfect Valentine’s Day. Giving thoughtful gifts means you’ve taken the time to listen and observe and to find out exactly what your loved one likes, wants or needs. It sends a message that you’re in-tune with your loved one. And that’s all they want on their special day.

My daughter’s birthday was last week, and one of her favorite gifts was a bookmark.  I heard her say, in passing one day, that she wanted a nice bookmark (because she reads a lot.) When she pulled that bookmark out of the gift bag, you would have thought she pulled out a new laptop.  I got it right…and it only cost me seven bucks! It doesn’t always have to be some grand expensive gesture (although those are nice from time to time.)  Most times, some “chocolate” will do.

READ: Don’t Let this Be You! 5 Things that Could Get You into Trouble on Valentine’s Day

Jilly From Philly

Wouldn’t it be nice if Jill Scott, herself, would write a special message to your loved one (on your behalf) for Valentine’s Day or their Birthday?  Well you’re in luck, because Jill Scott and Hallmark’s Mahogany brand have launched the Jill Scott Collection that brings “Jill’s bold, authentic and soulful personality to life” through the poetic messages in her cards. In her cards, Jill says exactly what I am thinking and feeling…but for the life of me, I just can bring myself to express.


So while I’ll say:

” I love you and love being married to you.”  

Jill says:

“I Want To Have You. I Want To Bathe In You. I Pray You Want Me, Too.  I Desire You.”  

Yessssss! those are the perfect words! Thanks Jill!

So as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, birthdays and other special occasions come and go this year, don’t forget to use those times to show your true loves just how much you love them (even if you haven’t spoken to them in awhile.)

What three ingredients make the perfect Valentine’s Day or Birthday for you?

HmkMahogany Logo

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post brought to you by Hallmark. I have partnered with them to spread the word about the launch of the Mahogany Jill Scott CollectionAll opinions and stories are my own. Click here to find Mahogany in stores near you.

About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 528 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.


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