Do Your Kiddos Appreciate Black History Month?
How does your family feel about Black History Month? It slides right on the heels of the Super Bowl and eases out just as fast. This time of year I always have an overwhelming urge to bring out a PowerPoint presentation and sit everyone down to give them the history of Blacks in America. Though I don’t know if a Black history PowerPoint would make the kiddos truly appreciate the contributions of Blacks in history. I have heard my share of complaints about whether or not Black History month is necessary. About this time of the year I can turn to just about any channel and catch a movie taking me back down Civil Rights and injustice lane. And rightfully so. While for some of us older folk the history of Blacks in America is old news, for my kiddos it’s not. It’s not as if history taught in schools includes a full range of all the contributions of every culture, race and gender. Many contributions of Blacks(Hispanic, Asian or Native American for that matter) are omitted. Some parents even have to deal with schools and principals not even willing to tolerate the acknowledgement of Black History month, even when the majority of the student population is African American…go figure? I try to not allow the kiddos to see Black history as video clips, snippets of a time in Black and White with a monotone voiceover. But, it’s a challenge. Growing up with a Black president and White friends they have their share of ‘we have overcome’ moments. They can sit anywhere at the movies and walk into stores without ‘White-Only’ signs on the doors. When the oldest sees news reports of unarmed Black males being shot by the police she understands it’s not fair, but she has little connection to the nasty, nightmarish memories of a time when so many of Black men were being lynched in the South. We are not saying that our three should be raised to remain angry about what happened in the past. But, it is important for them to know the full story of what happened in history so that they can gauge the progress made. Plus once they get over the sting of what’s still lingering from the past hopefully they will be inspired by those who took the charge to make positive change happen. And because I am convinced no Black History month PowerPoint in this world could spark such appreciation I still have yet to make one.
Are you happy to see Black History Month of Avoid it like the plague?