Raising Black children is an ongoing endeavor, a labor of love that extends beyond the confines of traditional parenting. It’s a continuous endeavor to counteract the media, books, songs, and other societal elements that perpetuate the myth that Black is less than any other race. Affirming the beauty, strength, and creativity inherent in Blackness, teaching our children about the significant contributions African Americans have made to this world, and encouraging them to stand up against injustices are all essential parts of this journey.
The Beauty of Blackness
Reaffirming the beauty of being Black is a crucial part of raising Black children. It is essential to provide children with a sense of pride in their heritage and to counter the negative stereotypes often perpetuated in society. Parents can do this by highlighting the accomplishments of Black individuals in history, emphasizing the strength and resilience of Black communities, and acknowledging the creativity that has led to countless inventions, fashion trends, and social changes.
Role Models That Look Like Them
Representation matters. It is important to expose Black children to role models that look like them – the readers, the writers, the artists, the philosophers, the scientists, and more. One of the ways to do this is through resources that highlight African American contributions. Organizations like Moms of Color offer a platform for sharing and celebrating the richness of Black motherhood, providing a source of inspiration and empowerment for both parents and children12.
Teaching Black History at Home
For children in public schools, it is especially important to complement their education with lessons on Black history at home. One approach is to make use of resources that emphasize African American contributions, such as books, documentaries, and online resources. This not only broadens their understanding of history but also instills a sense of pride in their heritage.
Counteracting White Supremacy
The job of filling the minds of Black children with knowledge, self-love, and resilience in the face of white supremacy is a constant one. It involves teaching them to challenge and question, equipping them with the tools to navigate a world that is often biased against them. Encouraging children to speak up against injustices and equipping them with the knowledge and confidence to do so is a significant part of this process. Afro Yogi Kids is a good resource that help children use their voices and practice Self-efficacy.
Ideas to Inspire Black Children
- Introduce them to Black literature: Encourage them to read books by Black authors and featuring Black characters.
- Highlight Black inventors and innovators: Teach them about the countless contributions Black individuals have made to science, technology, engineering, and math.
- Exposure to Black art and culture: Introduce them to Black artists, musicians, and creatives, showcasing the rich cultural contributions of the Black community.
- Teach them about Black activists: Share the stories of Black activists who have stood up against injustice, showing them that they too can make a difference.
- Encourage them to engage with Black community events: Participation in community events can foster a sense of belonging and pride in their heritage.
The journey of raising Black children is one of continuous learning, affirmation, and empowerment. By equipping our children with knowledge and pride in their heritage, we can help them navigate the world with confidence.
With Love, Lakischa Smith
Meet Lakischa Smith, a proud mother and a dedicated public health advocate. With a Bachelor’s from Dillard University and a Master’s in Public Health from Florida International University, she’s committed to sharing honest narratives about black motherhood. Lakischa believes in fostering sisterhood to combat the pervasive forces of white supremacy, and empowering African American women to be agents of change for future generations. She asserts that recognizing and addressing our community’s struggles is crucial, for healing is the key to moving forward. Armed with the power of education and a deep belief in collective action, Lakischa is determined to ensure that the issues impacting African American maternal health aren’t just seen—they’re addressed and resolved.