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Meaningful Approaches to Black History Month
January 18, 2024
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
-Martin Luther King Jr., Minister and Civil Rights Activist

In the wake of honoring the 95th birthday of civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr., and as we prepare for Black History Month, listen to the powerful words of Kisa Marx of the Play Lab Foundation:

"If diversity is limited to a quote, graphic or achievement of a single person, if equity is narrowed down to a celebration, and inclusion is an abstract phenomenon that we don’t quite know how to incorporate within our learning spaces, then it is not liberation. It is emerging advocacy. To be clear, advocacy comes in many forms. It is vital to the eventual liberation of self and others. Still, liberation is a movement. Diversity can be seen, heard, and felt in the culture of your learning environment, regardless of who is in attendance. Equity is apparent when the needs of the collective and beyond have been met, and inclusion means that everybody belongs, no matter how we speak, what race we are, who our parents love, how we got here, what experiences have shaped us, or who we show up as in the world. There’s only one way to liberate, and that is through action. If your liberatory work isn’t changing something or someone, you are still in the planning phase and I strongly encourage you to keep growing."

It's also worth revisiting a few of Ijumaa Jordan’s ‘do’s and don’t’s that we shared last year:

  • Do anti-bias education even when it seems intimidating or daunting. This list will help.

  • Don’t say/imply that racism, prejudice and resistance only happened in the past.

  • Don’t sugarcoat discussions about unfairness.

  • Do offer accurate information and experiences for children to explore the 4 goals of Anti-bias education: identity, diversity, justice and activism.

  • Do learn and grow each year in your own understanding of bias, the history of race and civil rights in the United States.


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