What happened to Black History Month? I haven’t heard much about it, seen any specials on TV and were it not for the news anchor mentioning Garrett Morgan and the stoplight this morning, I might have forgotten all about it. Is it because I’m older? Has Black History Month somehow gone away? Is it because Obama is President?
When I was pregnant I just knew that when my little one was school-age I’d teach her all about Black History. I’d tell her about slavery, the struggle, determination, and ingenuity of our ancestors and give her the twice as good speech. I haven’t done any of that.
I’m conflicted y’all. How do you (if you do) teach your children about Black history without, well, fostering anger? It is hard for me – as an almost 40 year old woman – to read about and study Black history without anger. How do I teach my child about the past without planting seeds of anger in her little spirit? I can’t let her grow up thinking that she’s on equal footing because she isn’t. I don’t care how far we’ve come, racism is still alive and well and at some point it will affect her, no matter how subtly.
But I guess it is like everything else – I’ve just got to remember to be age appropriate with her and not start off with slavery or trying to recruit her into the Bla.ck P.anthers. We went to the library the other day and are reading about Ronald McN.air, Be.ssie Coleman and J.esse Owens. So far, so good. Though she was pissed as all get out when she realized “Ron” couldn’t check books out of the library just because he was black. Color her hot!
The other night I took her to see C.ornel West at JSU – color her unimpressed. I, on the other hand, was both encouraged and motivated by Dr. West’s speech.
What, if anything, have you done to celebrate Black History Month? Do you think there’s a need for Black History Month? What do you tell your children about Black History? (And though I think 99.99 percent of my readers are black, these questions are open to any and every body!)
Have a great week!