February is Black History Month, and our Parent Education team would like to take this time to lift up some relevant resources for you in your role as parents.
Black History Month, also known as African American History Month, is an annual recognition of the accomplishments of people of African descent throughout United States history. Black history is American history
. Black History Month recognizes the contributions of individuals and acknowledges the resilience Black communities have had to exhibit in order to survive and thrive in a nation with such deep legacies of institutionalized racism. Often, the education about Black History Month focuses on struggle, pain, and oppression alone. While it is important to have context for our history and honor the work of those who came before, this month is also a time to celebrate, to recognize the great accomplishments, and to find joy in the present and future
. It is a month to acknowledge the specific strength and resilience of Black people. As you are moving through February, remember that Black History Month and Black Futures Month are about celebration.
There are many parallels between talking to young people about race and about sexuality. In both cases, it is often recommended to meet children where they are
; strive to be an "askable adult"
and encourage children to make observations and ask questions
. When they ask questions, invite them to share more
about what they know and what they are wondering. Keep the metaphorical door open
so that they feel they can come to you with their curiosity and reflections. Remember that you do not have to have all the answers; it is okay to say, "I'm not sure about that," and "Let's find out more about that together." Dr. Beverly Tatum recently recorded an interview
on talking to young children about race, which includes many of these tips, as well as examples.
As a team of sexuality educators who are here to support parents and other caring adults, we wanted to share a few specific resources.
- Sex Positive Families is run by Melissa Pintor Carnagey (she/they), a Black and Latinx, Texas-based sexuality educator and licensed social worker, who believes that all children deserve holistic, comprehensive, and shame-free sexuality education so they can live informed, empowered, and safer lives. They have live workshops you can take alongside your young person.
- Every Body Curious is a web series for young people (and their parents!) where leading sex educators answer real questions from real kids, and open and honest conversations about sexuality, bodies and healthy relationships are encouraged.
- We Need Diverse Books is an amazing resource that strives to create a world in which all children can see themselves in the pages of a book. They have a list of Resources for Race, Equity, and Inclusion that includes organizations to support, reading lists, and Black-owned bookstores throughout the United States. Some of the reading lists we'd like to highlight are: Queer YA Books by Black Authors, Don’t Just Read About Racism—Read Stories About Black People Living, Black Stories Matter.
- Sign up for 28 Days of Black History, a virtual exhibition of 28 works that celebrate Black legacy in the U.S., delivered each evening in February via email.
We hope that you are able to take some time this month to recognize and celebrate Black History Month and Black Futures Month, and open up rich conversations with your families.