February is Black History Month! It’s a fantastic time to teach your children about historical figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. However, instead of just teaching history, try immersing your kids in black and African culture. Teaching children to embrace people and cultures of all types will help them become more loving and open as they grow up. Here are some suggestions of new ways to celebrate Black History Month.
Music! Music is a core part of any culture, and it’s easy to overlook music that we did not grow up with. Listening to genres like jazz, blues and hip-hop helps kids to gain insight on black history and culture.
Art! An oft overlooked resource of our library is our collection of St. Louis Art Museum kits. These kits are available for checkout and contain artifacts that are great for hands-on learning. We have a kit specific to African art, but we also have kits for ancient Mediterranean art, art of China and Japan and many others.
Books! It’s easy to find nonfiction books on our favorite black historical figures, but fiction is a wonderful resource too! Even though fiction books don’t always tell a historically accurate story, they still contain the art, essence and storytelling styles of another culture. Here are a few great picture book options you can find at the library:
- “Jazz” by Walter Dean Myers
- “Ella’s Big Chance” by Shirley Hughes
- “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats
Library programs! Later this month we will have the incredible program Drum Talk with Kunama Mtendaji at all three of our library branches.
Monday, February 20
10-10:45 a.m. Southern Boone County Public Library, meeting room
2-2:45 p.m. Callaway County Public Library, Friends Room
6-6:45 p.m. Columbia Public Library, Children’s Program Room
Kunama Mtendaji drums, dances and tells stories with a vibrant energy. Rich in African-American folklore originating in the United States, Africa, Brazil and the Caribbean, his performance features a multitude of cultural art forms that bring us together in “moja taifa” (one nation).