We always learn about the same people for Black History Month — and they are almost always adults. But there are plenty of amazing Black kids in history who have done outstanding things we all need to know about. Spend this Black History Month talking with your children about these outstanding kids in history instead of the grown-ups.
If you asked your children who Rosa Parks was, they would be able to tell you all about her story. But really, there’s a child that figuratively stood up first. Claudette Colvin was arrested when she was only 15 years old for refusing to stand up and give her seat to a white woman. The incident happened in Alabama in early 1955, before Rosa Parks followed suit later that year.
Talk about taking your lemonade stand to the big leagues. If you don’t watch TV reality shows, you don’t know about Mikaila Ulmer. This young woman appeared on Shark Tank in 2015 when she was 11 years old and landed a deal with the sharks to sell her homemade lemonade. You’ll find her lemonade, Me & the Bees Lemonade, in stores like Target, Kroger, and Whole Foods.
While her ground-breaking feat happened when she was in her 20s, Misty Copeland’s journey started when she was only 13 years old. A ballerina prodigy, Copeland became the American Ballet Theatre’s first Black woman to be made a principal dancer in 2015, the first in the company’s 75-year history at that time.
Don’t tell girls what they can and can’t do. Mo’ne Davis is the living epitome of that statement. In 2014, Davis broke records when she became the first girl to pitch a winning game in Little League World Series history, also making her the first girl in the post-season to pitch a shutout. Her accomplishments then landed her on the cover of Sports Illustrated, making her the first Little League player — at all, boy or girl — to do so.
Sandra Parks was only 13 years old in 2018 when she was shot in her home in Milwaukee while watching television with her brother. What makes her story so much more powerful is that Sandra had just won an essay contest where the topic she wrote about was gun violence.
We’ve all seen the picture of little Ruby Bridges being escorted into her school after desegregation. The story of The Little Rock Nine is in a similar vein. Nine high school teenagers were chosen in 1957 as the first Black students to go to Little Rock’s Central High School after the Supreme Court ruled segregation schools were illegal.
When you talk with your children about figures for Black History Month and beyond, introduce these Black kids in history who made a huge impact on our world. Empower your children to know that just because they are kids, it doesn’t mean they can’t do something great.
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