Black History Resources That Aren't White-Washed For Kids
These homeschool resources will tell a truth about Black, Native, and immigrant history that you won't find in school curriculums.
There are so many historical facts about Black people's experience in America that I didn’t learn in school, and I often wonder why. Why does it feel like a big chunk of truth is missing from textbooks? The simple answer is that it doesn’t flow with the White Savior narrative. And the trend is that history books are very one-sided.
Most non-white school-aged students don’t see the richness of their ancestors’ contributions to this country or the systemic racism during history lessons, especially Black students. At best, it’s skimmed over. But oppression is not the whole of the Black experience, and slavery is not the starting point of our existence. We were royalty and ran kingdoms. And the average student doesn't know that, which proves that we need more.
To compensate for the lack of inclusion, some teachers create special projects that expose students to history that shows a fully diverse picture of past events. But this isn't the case in every classroom. Instead of relying on the curriculums to change, here are a few homeschool resources that offer a more accurate and diverse depiction of American history.
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Homeschool History Curriculum
Oh Freedom! is a Woke Homeschooling sector that offers “A Conscious US History Curriculum” focusing on African American history, Natives, and immigrants of color. It was developed by a Black homeschooling mom of three who accidentally created it while trying to find "more inclusive resources" for her children.
Phase one of the curriculum is for students in third grade through seventh. It comes in both a faith-based format (including prayers to help children deal with the difficult historical events) and a secular version that doesn't have a religious approach. The 38-week study covers the pre-colonial era to the present. The second phase is a 36-week curriculum for grades eight through 12, where they get an eye view of history told by Indigenous people and African Americans.
Woke Homeschooling also offers online history classes.
Book of Timelines
Timelines From Black History is a book that takes learners on a journey through time, continents, language, and traditions of how Black kingdoms and civilizations began and thrived. It highlights what was important to the culture and even how religions were developed and how resources were traded for survival. Through these periods, children will learn about prominent Black figures like Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama.
Downloadable Homeschool Curriculum
This Black History downloadable curriculum by Budding Mama, a Black mom who creates early education homeschool resources, is full of activities that cover the entire month of February. Its 58 pages of activities can be used as a stand-alone curriculum or can be added to other lessons.
Some of the items included are vocabulary cards, reading comprehension pages with questions, guided art projects, facts about influential Black people and much more. It is recommended for 2nd through 5th graders.
Poem: "Let America Be America Again" by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes, Black American poet, social activist, and leader of the Harlem Renaissance, wrote the poem Let America Be America Again, where he frames Black Americans' reality. His unfiltered words have sparked in-depth conversations on how our nation did not (and still hasn't) lived up to the freedoms the constitution says we all have. This excerpt from his poem speaks of the illusion of equality:
O' let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreathe,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.
(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")
If you've viewed Amanda Gorman's poem "The Hill We Climb" at the presidential inauguration, you would see that there are still many changes that need to happen. As she puts it, America is still a nation that is "unfinished," and the fight for equality is ongoing. These poems can really get the conversation started with kids.
Book Trilogy by John Lewis
Johns Lewis was a breathing representation of Black people's power in history until he passed away in July 2020. But his work continues through the legacy he left. He was a civil rights activist who worked closely with Martin Luther King Jr. and a leader in the Selma marches. He went on to serve 17 terms in the House of Representatives.
Before passing, Lewis co-wrote a trilogy with Andrew Aydin called March, which won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. The trilogy tells of his personal experiences throughout the civil rights movement. Much different than a typical history book, these are graphic novels giving students visuals of the hatred and violence Lewis and other peaceful protestors endured just because they wanted equal rights.
To check for age appropriateness of the content, Commonsense media has parent reviews listed on this trilogy.
Having these conversations might feel a lot like taking the red pill to get out of the matrix of misinformation and muddled truths, but it's a necessary start.