February is Black History Month, an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history.
Since 1976, every American president has designated February as Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme.
The Black History Month 2024 theme, “African Americans and the Arts,” explores the key influence African Americans have had in the fields of "visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, folklore, language, film, music, architecture, culinary and other forms of cultural expression."
Many Black creators are making amazing music and video content for young children. This list that features several Black music artists for children is a great starting point.
Listen to stories with Nanny Nikki, sing songs with Uncle Devin, and learn new words in Spanish with Ms. Niki’s Music Class. Many artists have also made their songs and videos available on YouTube and Spotify. This Spotify playlist features almost 4 hours of children’s songs by African Americans.
Artist and author Faith Ringgold uses folk art and quilting styles to illustrate her children’s stories. Ringgold has written many books for children, including three for very young children: Counting to Tar Beach, Cassie’s Colorful Day, and Cassie’s Word Quilt.
Make a story quilt together using squares of fabric or paper as a companion activity. Find this activity and four others inspired by Black artists at We Are Teachers.
Explore the National Museum of African American History in-person or online. The Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. has online access to the collection. The website even features a section dedicated to early childhood education!