February is Black History Month, and there is so much that can be learned throughout that time. For adoptive parents in a transracial adoption, especially, this time can be a great learning opportunity for them and their children.
Many transracial adoptions bring a lot of questions and concerns, such as:
- How will my child “fit” into our existing family?
- How will we respond to any race issues that come up?
- Will we be able to answer any hard questions or relate to them at all?
All too often, the matter of racial equality and racism in America gets brushed to the side. White adoptive parents who have adopted Black children may not realize it until they have them to consider every single day. One of the best ways these adoptive parents can teach their children about the importance of Black history in America is by seeking out those who can be role models for their kids who look like their children.
It’s important that adoptive parents actively work to make sure their children are comfortable and confident in who they are, whether that be in their community, in social situations, and even in their own skin.
Celebrating a time that centers on your child’s culture and ethnicity is an integral part of their life as they grow up. However you choose to acknowledge and learn throughout Black History Month, make sure you find ways that benefit everyone in your family.
Black History Month [What Makes it Unique?]
Black history is American history. Children will be taught Black history year-round; this is not limited to one month in any way. Knowing what resources you have available to you and the different experiences you can have with your children as you continue to learn more about Black history in America can make a big difference.
February is Black History Month, so this can be the year to start your journey on teaching your children who they are and where they come from, as well as why it’s so important to understand the truth.
If celebrating Black History Month is a new experience for you and your children, there are many ways that you can show support to the Black community in ways you maybe hadn’t thought of before. These can also be great stepping stones for your children as they grow and start to experience more of the world around them. Supporting Black artists and musicians, reading books, listening to speeches, watching movies, and even finding local events in your community can all help build the bridge children need to better understand Black history in America.
Supporting Black Artists
- Purchase art from Black artists
- Listen to and stream music from Black performers and musicians
- Donate to an organization that supports Black artists, musicians, and creators
- Read picture books that feature Black illustrators
- Do an art project inspired by an Black artist
- Attend a play or concert performed by Black performers
- Visit an art museum that has exhibitions focused on Black artists
- Take an art class taught by a local Black artist or maker
- Find online shops owned and operated by Black creators and purchase, promote, and share their works
- Follow, Like, and Share Black artists and musicians on social media to help promote their work
- Support your local radio stations and encourage them to play more music from Black artists
Books and Literacy to Read
- “Hey Black Child” by Useni Eugene Perkins
- Speeches from Frederick Douglass
- “The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman
- Speeches from Barack Obama
- Poems by Maya Angelou
- “I Am Enough” by Grace Byers
- “June Peters, You Will Change the World One Day” by Alika R. Turner
- “Sulwe” by Lupita Nyong’o and Vashti Harrison
- “Look Up!” by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola
- “Becoming: Adapted for Younger Readers” by Michelle Obama
- “Brown Girl Dreaming” by Jacqueline Woodson
- Speeches by Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “Little Readers: Bold Women in Black History” by Vashti Harrison
- “How High the Moon” by Karyn Parsons
Movies/Shows/Documentaries to Watch
- “Hidden Figures”
- “The Butler”
- “The Help”
- “Eyes on the Prize”
- “Mighty Times: The Children’s March”
- “Black Panther”
- “Remember the Titans”
- “A Ballerina’s Tale”
- “Project Mc²”
- “The Princess and the Frog”
- “March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World”
- “Akeelah and the Bee”
Various Age-Appropriate Resources to Experience
- Visit a Black-owned restaurant, café, or shop
- Support online Black-owned shops
- Teach your child about different Black-focused activist groups, like #BlackLivesMatter and Color of Change
- Look for dolls, action figures, toys, and puzzles that depict Black characters
- Visit museums that are centered on Black culture in society through movies, politics, and even sports
- Have conversations with your child/children about examples of overcoming adversity
- Check out educational websites, like Biography.com, to introduce your child/children to famous inventors and scientists
- Find printable resources online that display black culture, like posters of famous Black visionaries
- Teach your child/children about the colors of the Pan-African (or Afro American) flag, which are red, black, and green
- Volunteer or donate as a family to a charity that supports the Black community
- Attend events that celebrate the contributions and advances of Black pioneers and individuals at local community churches, libraries, theaters, or centers
To learn more about how you can celebrate Black History Month with your family, visit our website to find different resources.