February is officially African American History Month, also
called Black History Month, and this year you may find more
resources than ever due to several special occasions.
First, 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the historic
March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King gave his famous "I
have a dream…" speech. It is also the 150th anniversary of the
Emancipation Proclamation, a pivotal piece of legislation in the
history of the country.
This national tribute to African American heritage was
started by Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson as a
weeklong celebration in 1926 and expanded to a month-long
celebration in 1976, the bicentennial. Each year, the celebration
takes on a theme and in 2013 the theme is "Black Women in American
Culture and History".
Help your child understand the importance of this annual
tribute by exploring local events at libraries and community
centers, along with the following resources.
Each year since Ronald Reagan, the President of the United
States issues a proclamation on National African American History
Month. Read it together online at whitehouse.gov. The National
Education Association also offers a great African American Booklist
for kids at nea.org/grants/13542.htm
Even if you can't get there in person, you can see the Lincoln
Memorial and the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, both located
in Washington, D. C., by visiting the
National Park Service.
Many museums offer great online resources for families. The DuSable Museum of African
American History in Chicago and the Smithsonian National Museum
of African Art provide links
to draw a mask or design kente cloths. The Library of Congress
hosts a website dedicated to African American History Month,
including videos of authors and artists at www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov.
Nickjr.com, Family Education and Kaboose.com all offer
printable coloring pages, activity and craft ideas to learn about
and celebrate African American History Month.
Sharon Cindrich is a mother of two tech-savvy kids from Virginia Beach. Learn more at sharoncindrich.com.
See more of Sharon's stories here.
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