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Educating Our Children on Black History Month

February is Black History Month and a great time to start educating our children on Black History.  Do you know who these incredible men and women are?

If you don’t, please take the time to find out who they are right now:

From left to right: Obama, first Black president of the United States of America.  Harriet Tubman, a runaway slave who helped create the underground railway.  After escaping, she came back time and time again, helping over 300 slaves and her own family escape.  She then joined the Union army during the civil war and became the first woman to lead an armed expedition to war.   Maya Angelou, the famous poet and civil rights leader.  Some of my favourite quotes come from this woman.   Aretha Franklin, a famous singer who overcame many obstacles and rebranded a whole new genre of music.  Frederick Douglass: Advisor to sitting presidents, writer, abolitionist, statesman.   Bessie Coleman, the first Black pilot.  Martin Luther King Jr, the passionate human rights Activist and civil rights leader.  Take this time to learn and appreciate these incredible people not just during Black History Month.

The month of February is Black History Month.  It is important for the next generation to know the history of people so that we could develop a better understanding, an improved appreciation, an intolerance for injustice and inhumanity, and for negative history to not ever repeat itself.

As parents, guardians, relatives, teachers and members of the human species, it is important for us to not only embrace the history of all cultures, regions and races but to instill that wisdom and knowledge unto all future generations to come. It is crucial that future generations learn from our mistakes, biases, accomplishments and challenges so they too can learn to accomplish anything and make the world a better place.

As much as we think and hope all things are covered in school, as a mom and former school teacher, I have learned that the core values we see in children actually come from home.

Parents, we may not realize it but our children echo us at school, at show and tell, at recess, and on the soccer fields.  As a school teacher, so often I have heard children say hurtful things I know they did not know what they meant.  Sometimes the comments I hear remind me loud and clear that children are always listening and they are always learning from what they hear.   It should be our responsibility to enhance their learning experiences at home, to build them into caring, compassionate and strong individuals who stand up for what is good and just.

To help do our part here at Easy Daysies, we will be posting ways to involve our children with further knowledge about a range of topics.  We hope you will enjoy and learn alongside us to help make the future brighter.  If there are topics you would like us to cover feel free to message us and we will do our best!

February is national Black History month, so here are two facts you may or may not know!  I just love learning something new every day!

  1. The term “Black”, from “Black History Month”, was coined because the majority of people did not know the historical lineage, country or culture from which they came forcing them to create a broader inclusive term which is celebrated across North America and Europe. Its main focus is to celebrate African American/Canadian/ European history or achievement during and post Slavery.
  2. The difference between African history and Black history is that African history weaves ancient and present history which pertains to the vastly different nations of the continent and Black History focuses on the historical significant of successful, ambitious and history changing African American/Canadian/Europeans during and post slavery.

Here are five ways to teach your children about Black History Month:

  • Black History Film festivals: If you feel they are old enough taking them to a film festival is a great way to learn and teach others about many different subjects. Every February across North America, major cities host a Black film festival that is both informative and fun! Make it a family outing! Check out your local film festival pages. If you are in the Vancouver, BC area check the Vancouver film festival for plenty of films and hosted events during Black History Month!
  • Alternative: If you don’t feel like navigating film festivals there are tons of inspirational and child friendly Black history movies you can rent or find online. Who doesn’t love snuggling in front of a movie with a delicious bowl of snacks? Remember Black history isn’t just about slavery so focus on movies with positive role models!
  • Reading: There are so many child and teen friendly books, both online and in the library, that teach about Black history and diversity. Use this opportunity to take a trip out to your local library. Once you find the right section help your child(ren)/ teen(s) pick out the books they feel look interesting. All you have to do next is take it home and cuddle in bed to a great story!

Alternative: Instead of reading a book to learn more about Black History Month, you can read some beautiful poetry from the likes of May Angelo among many others. Not only do you get to teach your children about Black history and diversity you also get to tackle the lesson on poetry!

  • Dance party: Introduce your children to the parents of Jazz/ Blues, RnB and, yes, even Country music! Have a dance party and play child appropriate music invented or dominated by amazing musicians that broke the mold and are still revered today! Introduce them to Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Country/ blues father DeFord Bailey, just to name a few. Who said history couldn’t be fun?
  • Games: Turn it into a fun learning experience with some history ridden games. How about Black history month Bingo? Found on Teacher’s Notebook, you could make your own or purchase the premade version when you google the above. In this game children have to connect the background history with the right name! You can also create a Black history version of the Guess Who board game. This will allow your Children to ask questions and help you stay sharp. Don’t forget Pinterest is great inspiration for crafty fun and games!
  • Inventions and activities: This can be done either once a week or daily if you have the time. Pick an inventor and correspond the lesson and activity with their invention. Not only will it keep them busy but actively learning. For example, you could discuss Garret Morgan the inventor of the traffic light.  You could then have them paint a giant traffic sign or bake traffic sign shaped cookies with M &M’s or other colourful ingredients. This would also be a great time to discuss traffic/road safety.

So much fun right?  Please do share your comments and photos here too!


Elaine and The Easy Daysies Team.


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