10 Must-Have Books and Documentaries To Celebrate Black History Month

For many of us, learning about our history has been a personal endeavor. Generally, American education is largely Eurocentric and the history of people of color in this country centers around slavery and the Civil Rights Movement. As we grow older, however, we realize there is so much more. Here are 10 must-have books and documentaries to kick-off this Black History Month. Use them to teach your children exciting facts about our rich and inspiring history.

The Complicated History of Martin Luther King Day

In 2000, Martin Luther King Day was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time. It was a long and arduous battle to gain national recognition for the life of the civil rights icon. If your kids are anything like mine, that is probably hard for them to believe. The life of Martin Luther King Jr. is practically central to the public school civil rights curriculum. It may seem as though the leader was always universally celebrated and respected. In actuality, it wasn’t easy to get national recognition for the slain leader. Here are seven facts to teach your kids about the history of this important day.

Living History: Meet Betty Soskin, America’s Oldest Park Ranger

At 94 years old, Betty Reid Soskin is the oldest living ranger for the National Park Service. She serves as Interpretive Ranger at the Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California. Today, she works up to five days a week and five hours per day. Her work entails giving two or three presentations in the park theater. She answers emails and requests from her office. She also conducts wildly popular bus tours through the areas that make up the park. She speaks honestly in her presentations about both discrimination and efforts for integration that occurred during WWII. Remarkably, she doesn’t use notes or a guide. Instead, she speaks from her lived experience and personal history. Her pace would be incredibly impressive for someone half her age. Here are eight facts you need to know about this American Shero.

Why We Must Teach Our Children To Celebrate Labor Day

Since well before the Civil War, our people have participated in the fight for equal rights in the labor force. There is documentation of a strike by black caulkers at the Washington Navy Yard as early as 1835. Our ancestors fight was uniquely brutal since labor unions were segregated well into the 20th Century. The fight for equal rights in the workforce necessarily became intrinsic to the Civil Rights Movement. Here are 5 historic events everyone should know as we remember our ancestors this Labor Day.

How to Confront Bias in the Classroom

While as adults, we learn to sweep powerless microaggressions under the rug, when it comes to our children, these behaviors, especially in the educational system, can be irrevocably damaging. We are often forced to fight for them, even when we haven’t always been willing to fight for ourselves.