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Monday, February 1, 2010

Sharing history

Happy first day of February. Today begins Black History Month, which is an excellent opportunity for all children to learn about the contributions that Africans and Black Americans have made to our country. I think this is a pivotal time for us with a Black president in office and, on another level, Miss Virginia - who happens to be Black - was just crowned Miss America. I'm sure there are notable events in between both of those memorable moments, but I'm sure you get my point.

My oldest daughter and I often talk about facts in our history, but I don't regularly teach my children until a moment presents itself that they can relate to. For instance, when President Obama was elected the children watched history unfold on the television at their school. We talked about the President and his family for days. Last week, they both learned about Martin Luther King Jr. and my son had a project due on him for school. Both children - Andre and Amareah - were fascinated to learn about King and recite the facts they remember about him.

Andre also has to do a project on Jamie Foxx. Although Foxx has many fans; I must admit that I'm not one of them and I was extremely disappointed when I saw that Andre was assigned to him. I know very little about him and although he has made great strides in the entertainment industry he's not someone I would choose for my son to learn about at this time. With an assignment of MLK, all I had to do was pull several books off of my shelves and make copies (I have a copier here) of the pictures for Andre to include on his poster board. I don't have one book or magazine with Foxx's image in it and my computer isn't currently attached to a printer. We'll see how this turns out. I will find some videos of him singing and of his show so that Andre can see who he's writing about, but this one is going to prove a bit difficult to complete.

Since this is Black History Month, I will only tout the interesting and accomplished things I have learned about Foxx so Andre can have a positive image of him. I, on the other hand, will be groaning inside of my head. LOL...

I'm looking forward to the Black History presentations the children will do at their schools this month and to learning more about (and being reminded of) the contributions and achievements of those who came before us. It's something we should do frequently throughout the year and not just once a month, but it's better than nothing.

How will you acknowledge Black History Month for your children? Is there a project you'll do or a program you normally attend? If you're not African American, do you teach your children about Black History Month? Please share what you tell them.

While you're here, take a peek at my post from last year. There are some adorable photos of my children participating in their Black History month program at the head start.
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3 comments

  1. Thank you for reminding me to Celebrate Black History month!
    I get so giddy about Valentines Day..that I forget other more important holidays!

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  2. Great post. I wish my people would celebrate not only black history, but humanity month, year round. Yes, great strides have been made and I am sure there are more to come in the form of promising individuals who offer a commitment towards the betterment of our race.

    Jamie Foxx, huh? Good entertainer, though I am quite surprised that a teacher would offer Mr. Foxx as an assignment towards black history. That said, there are many charitable projects which Foxx involves himself in, as a way of building communities.

    I wish me and my young daughters could sit and share a conversation, period.

    *sigh

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  3. I really liked this post! As you can see from my clothing line, www.nelesc.etsy.com, I do celebrate some African Americans: Billie Holiday, Angela Davis, Nina Simone. These women really have inspired me. I plan to do a top with MLK's image on it, he's been on my list for a while, he is also so inspirational. As a Puerto Rican, I think it's very important to talk about Black History Month with my kids (well the 7 year old, the 2 year old is still too young.) One cannot deny the African presence in Puerto Rico and how rich that has made our culture. I have a book about MLK that I read to my 7 year old. They also see me screenprinting some of the mentioned images so when they ask questions it gives me an opportunity for a little lesson. I do want to do more and I am thankful that you reminded me that is is Black History Month.

    About Jamie Fox; he did play Ray Charles superbly so that is an opportunity to talk about another great African American.

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