One of my students asked me why we celebrate Black History Month. I explained to him that when we first learned of COVID-19 we were told to wash our hands, give each other space, take vitamins, etc. Now, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do these things at other points in our life—it just means right now this is what we need to do to make the most impact. That’s what Black History month is. It is bringing awareness to things we should always be doing to make the most impact now and in the future.
How can you, as a mom of littles, teens, and in-betweens, make celebrating Black History Month a part of your family values?
Support Local Black-Owned Businesses
Kindred Stories is an awesome local black-owned bookstore that has a variety of books from your favorite authors as well as some new authors to add to your list.
Africa on My Back is a locally owned fair trade site that sells backpacks, purses, and other accessories that are hand-made by artisans in Ghana and shipped directly to you!
NannyLand Having an event that needs vetted childcare? We don’t have Mary Poppins– but Nannyland has the next best thing. They provide childcare at weddings, parties, and even small personal events.
Cafe Abuja is my favorite Nigerian restaurant. This local eatery has space for you to eat, and also has great coffee and WiFi if you want to catch up on some work. Come for the vibe, but stay for the Okra soup!
American Medical Institute Want to update your CPR certification? Or are you interested in a certification to take your career to the next level? This small black-owned business has been in the Houston area for more than a decade and can help you get what you need to take your career to the next level.
TEN Skyn Care Yes, you need a skincare routine. So support this local black-owned business to get your summertime glow all year long!
Teach your kids something new
Find a famous African American that aligns with your family’s values and research their life with your kids. I love this idea because there are influential African Americans from just about any field that you can expose your child to.
Did you know Houston has its own African American museum? Or that you can take your family to visit Houston’s Historically Black University, TSU. Houston is also home to Emancipation Park, created to honor the Juneteenth celebration of freedom. Emancipation Park has events all year long for you and your family to enjoy.
Houston is home to many influential African Americans. You can use the public library or do a good old-fashioned Google search on some of these famous African American Houstonians.
- Michael Strahan (NFL)
- Solange Knowles (Music and Entertainment)
- Barbara Jordan (Law and Education)
- Jimmy Butler (NBA)
- Phylicia Rashad (Actress and Film Star)
- Laura E. Carson (PVAMU Alum, Research Scientist)
- Harry E. Johnson (TSU Alum, Attorney and Activist)
Technology and screens often get a bad rap, especially in the context of parenting. But technology can be an amazing tool for education and exploration for your family.
- Because of Them We Can recently shared a Black History Month challenge with information on a mindfulness app called Shine. Created by two women, Shine is described as an “inclusive self-care toolkit to help you deal with the day-to-day highs and lows, and, with time, find healing that will last you a lifetime.”
Looking for something new to binge-watch? Check out these documentaries and television series.
- Self-Made, Madame C J Walker (Netflix)
- John Lewis, Good Trouble
- Becoming (Netflix)
- King in the Wilderness (HBO)
- Abbott Elementary (ABC, Hulu)
- The Wonder Years (ABC)
Reading books will always be one of the best ways for both kids and adults to take in information and learn from it. Here are a few of my favorites for Black History Month:
Ambitious Girl By Meena Harris
Saturday by Oge Mora
Beautiful by Ugochi Emenaha
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy by Emmanuel Acho
Black Boy Joy edited by Kwame Mbalia
Twins by Varian Johnson
This past weekend at Main Street Theater, I was able to watch the play The Watson’s Go to Birmingham. This is one of my favorite children’s books as it deals with many themes that are common to our pre-teens—bullying, friendship, and self-awareness. But it also focuses on the Civil Rights Movement—because kids want to learn about themselves and others. Don’t be afraid to make an impact. While this show is only running for student groups, you can catch the televised version on the new streaming service, Plex.
While February is the designated time to celebrate Black History Month, every day of the year is an opportunity to research, read about and learn from people who have lived through and shaped Black history in this country.
How are you celebrating Black History Month this year with your kids?
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