We’ve compiled some great ways for you and your family to celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of Black Americans this month — and all year long.
Honoring Black History Month with Young Children
History can be heavy for young children. It’s filled with context, nuance and topics that they can’t yet process or understand. So how can parents teach children about Black History Month in an age-appropriate way?
This year’s focus for Black History Month is African Americans and the Arts. Here are some amazing Black artists you can introduce your children to!
Author and Illustrator
Musician: Ella Jenkins
Ella Jenkins, known as the “The First Lady of the Children’s Folk Song,” is a renowned children’s performer whose music incorporates cultures and languages from around the world. She uses a call-and-response style of song, which encourages children’s participation. Her music is still widely used in classrooms today. In 2004, she received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Listen to some of her songs.
Artist: Kehinde Wiley
Kehinde Wiley is a portrait painter whose works are regal, bold and contemporary. Former President Barack Obama selected Wiley to paint his portrait, making Wiley the first African-American artist to paint a U.S. President portrait for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. View some of his selected works.
Dancer: Misty Copeland
Misty Copeland is a famous ballet dancer who pursued her dreams through adversity. In 2015, she was named Principal Dancer for the American Ballet Theater, making her the first African American woman to receive this honor. In 2021, she founded the Misty Copeland Foundation to bring dance to children in under-resourced communities. Read more about her earlier years in her picture book Bunheads.
Author and Illustrator: Floyd Cooper
Floyd Cooper was an award-winning children’s book illustrator who eventually became a children’s book author, too. He created more than 100 children’s books spanning biographies, history and fiction. His signature art style was something he called “oil erasure” where he would cover a board in oil paint and then use a rubber eraser to push the paint away. Read one of his books Max and the Tag-Along Moon.
Celebrating Black History Month
Celebrate Black History Month all year long with some of these fun, age-appropriate ideas.