While most kids will learn about important Black historical figures in school, Black History Month is also an excellent time to talk about race and diversity at home. Talking about race is an important topic, and the conversation should start sooner than you might think.

According to healthychildren.org, babies as early as 3 months old can notice racial differences in the people around them. By age 8, children are aware of social norms and can express bias in subtler forms. By age 12, many children are set in racially-biased thoughts, actions, and decisions.

Start the Conversation Through Books

We have included a list of books, by age, you can find at the library, online or at a local bookstore. Read the book together, or have your child read it to you. Ask them what they learned about the characters. Encourage questions, and discuss any ideas or thoughts they have about the different races represented.

Infant – PreK

  • Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena
  • I’m Not just a Scribble…by Diane Alber
  • The Skin You Live in by Michael Tyler

Elementary School

  • Abiyoyo by Pete Seeger
  • Have You Thanked an Inventor Today? by Patrice McLaurin, Dian Wang
  • Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

Middle School

  • Black Women in Science by Kimberly Brown Pellum, PhD
  • Children Just Like Me: A Unique Celebrations of Children Around the World by Anabel Kindersley
  • Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History by Vashti Harrison

High School

  • Dear Martin by Nic Stone
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Black History Month Activities

This information is just the beginning. There are many ways for you and your family to learn more about Black people who made a difference in your community, state and country. Keep these essential conversations about race going as your child gets older and learns more about the world around them.