How to Select Culturally Responsible Children’s Books for Black History Month

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    Black History Month is one of my favorite times of year! It’s a time to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black people throughout history. It’s also a time when parents and educators are intentionally sharing Black narratives with their kiddos. As such, we must acknowledge the importance of  choosing culturally responsible children’s books to read and share with your scholars. We don’t want this to be an intimidating task, so I’ve listed 5 tips here that are sure to help you select children’s books that celebrate and honor Black history and culture respectfully:

    1. Look for books written by Black authors and illustrators: Choosing books written and illustrated by Black creators helps to support and uplift the voices and experiences of Black people.
    2. Avoid books that perpetuate stereotypes: It’s important to be mindful of the representation of Black people in children’s literature. Avoid books that reinforce negative stereotypes or depict Black people in a one-dimensional or stereotypical way.
    3. Seek out books that showcase a range of Black experiences: There is no one “Black experience” and it’s important to choose books that reflect the diversity and complexity of the Black community. Look for books that showcase the full range of Black experiences, including stories of joy, resilience, and triumph.
    4. Consider the age and interests of the reader: When selecting a book, consider the age andHave You Thanked an Inventor Cover interests of the reader. There are many children’s books available that explore Black history and culture in a way that is age-appropriate and engaging for young readers. For instance, the book Have You Thanked an Inventor Today is a wonderful resource that can be used to introduce young scholars to the genius of Black inventors!
    5. Read and review the book before sharing it: It’s always a good idea to read a book before sharing it with others, especially when it comes to sensitive topics like race and culture. This will allow you to determine if the book is an appropriate and respectful representation of Black history and culture.

    By following these tips, you can choose children’s books that celebrate and honor Black history and culture in a responsible and meaningful way. I hope that they help! Enjoy learning about all about Black excellence and resilience! Happy Black History Month!

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    pmclaurin

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