Black History Month takes place every year in the month of February. It is the time of year, where we take a look at and learn about Black American contributions to American Society, from helping to develop the fabric of our country, inventing products that we use day-to-day, making strides in music and art and more.
While one month cannot fully encapsulate all contributions, it is a great way to start having a discussion with kids and help introduce them to Black culture and important Black Americans.
Celebrate Black History Month in Orlando
Below, are a variety of ways to celebrate Black History Month with your kids.
Black History Month Canvas Project: Young Artist Showcase
In honor of Black History Month, several young artists will be painting what Black History Month means to them, LIVE. Stop by and see this live art activation! Each artists’ work will be on display the entire month of February at Waterford Lakes Town Center.
Date: February 6
Time: 9AM to 3PM
Location: Waterford Lakes Town Center, 413 N. Alafaya Trail, Orlando, FL 32724
Celebrating Black Culture, Storytelling and Poetry
Celebrate Black Culture, Storytelling and Poetry by looking at the power of words, the role of storytelling in African tradition and the African American cultural experience.
Date: February 11
Time: 6PM to 8PM
Location: Orange County Regional History Center, 65 E. Central Blvd., Orlando, Florida 32801
1619 Fest Orlando
This is the second annual 1619 Fest Orlando featuring dance, music and more. While all the activities are not family-friendly, there are a few that kids should enjoy including a dance performance by Afro Funk Dance, yoga with Chakra Yoga, a musical performance by the Ours Band and by a hip hop lyricist.
Date: February 13 and 14
Time: Sat: 7AM to 4PM, Sun: 12PM to 6PM
Day 1: Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 1050 W Morse Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32789
Day 2: Shady Park,1050 W Morse Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32789
Books about Black Figures and History
Readings with your kids is a great way to teach them about Black History. Below, are some great options for books to read with kids that cover black historical figures.
Howard Thurman’s Great Hope
Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas
“Who was Rosa Parks”
“What is the Civil Rights Movement”
“What is the March on Washington”
Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence
She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story
Education.com has a variety of at-home activities that you can do with kids to celebrate Black History Month. Some activities include: learn about Mae Jemison and create a rocket ship, learn about Misty Copeland and create a portrait, learn about African music and create a shekere instrument, learn about Kente cloth and create your own.
Fresberg Cartoon has fun cartoons that make learning accessible for kids. They have a section on Black History with videos on Madame CJ Walker, Dr. Martin Luther King, Dred Scott, Marcus Garvey, W. E.B. Dubois and more.
George Washington Carver Coloring Book
Younger kids will love coloring in the different pages of this book while learning about George Washington Carver and all his contributions to America.
National Geographic Kids
Kids can learn about black heroes on National Geographic Kids. They can learn about Thurgood Marshall, Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington and more.
Orange County Library System is offering a variety of virtual classes covering black music, black inventors, black stories and more.
Virtual Book Readings with Microsoft
Listen to stories about important Black Americans and Black American History through Microsoft’s Virtual Book Readings for Black History Month. Kids can hear about Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Thurgood Marshall and other prominent Black Americans. They can also hear stories about Juneteenth, the Underground Railroad and the Civil Rights Museum. The stories are geared towards kids in K-2.
Virtual Museum Tours with Microsoft
Microsoft has a Black History Month Virtual Museum program where kids will visit museums around the country and learn about moments in Black History. Museums include Freedom Rides Museum in Alabama, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, The Selma Montgomery Experience, George Washington Carver Museum, Buffalo Solider Museum and more. These programs are for kids in grades 3 and up.
Watch movies Featuring Black Stories
There are some great movies that can be found on Netflix, Amazon Prime and other streaming services that feature black stories. Below are some options that would be great for kids.
Drumline – life at HBCUs and the battle of the bands featuring the drumline
The Great Debaters – a group of underdog African-American college students turn into a historical powerhouse that took on the Harvard elite
Remember the Titans – a high school is forced to integrate and so is the football team under a black coach
Akeelah and the Bee – a young Akeelah is on her way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee and the community rallies around her to help
Hidden Figures – three black women, Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan, help the US work towards winning the space race
42 – The story of how Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball
Hairspray – a musical comedy set in 1960s Baltimore that tackles issues on race on segregation
What activities do you plan to do with your kids to celebrate Black History Month?