February is historically known as Black History Month. During this time, students often complete projects featuring Black men and women who are significant in our nation’s history. Some districts invite students’ families to participate in school-sponsored events. Many school districts include biographical tributes to historical figures such as the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Harriet Tubman on their websites. Then, inevitably, on the first of March, all projects, displays, and nods to the Black men and women who have made indelible marks on our nation’s landscape are put away. This same timeline of events plays out each year.
While I am hopeful Black history and the history of other peoples of color will become a part of the curriculum throughout the entire school year, that is not our reality now. Find ways to talk to and teach your children about the rich ethnic histories and accomplishments of the many disparate people who call our country home. These lessons are twofold. First, our children are given the opportunity to broaden their awareness of the interesting people that have been part of our country’s history. Second, they begin to normalize the fact that people of every race and ethnicity can make a meaningful contribution, have a successful career or lead by example.
This is a call to action! Don’t miss the opportunity to find small ways to have these types of conversations with your family often. Before long, you will be having a rich dialogue as part of your normal routine. How powerful is that?