Black history month was originally meant to be a way to introduce the accomplishments of African Americans to the culture of the United States. While many could argue that it has accomplished that goal, many people say that it’s now time to incorporate education about African Americans into our lives and education year-round.
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Here are a few ways you can incorporate learning about African American culture and contributions into your life and the lives of your children throughout the year.
1. Read books by black authors. On every trip to the library, have children look for at least one book that shows pictures of someone who has darker skin. Older children and adults can look for books by African American authors. Aim for a mix of books that showcase African Americans differently; look for books about science, politics, and technology. Don’t just stick to books about history.
2. Support black businesses. Look for the small businesses in your town owned by African Americans, and make it a point to shop at them. Many cities have a Chamber of Commerce with a list of such businesses or look for online listings put together by local non-profits. You may also want to consider buying from national brands that include African Americans on their Board of Directors.
3. Listen to podcasts about black history. Incorporate a few of these into your regular listening routine. Well researched shows such as the 1619 project are fairly easy to find, and just about anyone with a basic knowledge of history can jump right in. Also, consider expanding out to listen to shows from black podcasters that cover more diverse subjects such as science and literature.
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Don’t feel like you have to do all of these things right away. Start small, make one or two small changes, and start looking for ways to incorporate these suggestions into your daily routine.