Valentine’s Day and love are typically what people think about when they hear the word February. But the second month of the year is also a time when we can pay tribute to, share and learn about the impact of Black heritage and culture.
Finding accurate information that celebrates the achievements of both past and present contributions of African-Americans can be overwhelming, especially when trying to find information appropriate for multiple age groups. We know that parents and teachers have had a lot on their plates these past 12 months, and that’s why we are so excited to feature a Black History Month Challenge that makes this learning experience easy and fun for all.
Until February 28, you can login to your Beanstack account at botetourtva.beanstack.org and find all of this eye-opening and exciting information in one place. Patrons can unlock badges in a variety of categories including Art, Food, Music, Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter by completing highlighted activities.
Activities don’t just include reading books about famous figures we already know a lot about, they try to go beyond and introduce participants to lesser-known men and women who made, or are still making, a difference such as the creators of the #BlackLivesMatter movement: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi.
Interactive maps and exhibits, teacher-approved stories, resources and worksheets make this challenge a great opportunity for the entire family to learn about this part of America’s history. Families can go on virtual tours of several museums, like the Birmingham Museum of Art. Here, they can learn about influential artists like Clementine Hunter, Babacar Lo or Edmonia Lewis, who was America’s first internationally acclaimed non-white sculptor. Head over to the Smithsonian for the History of Jazz exhibition, which highlights the rich history this style of music has had in America.
After a trip to the museum, check out the virtual potluck guide while you learn about the history of soul food. Throw your very own Black History Month potluck celebration when you are done drooling over these menus.
Of course, we always recommend relaxing with a good book. Whether you like fiction or nonfiction, we’ve got something for you. There are so many great reads out there written by African-Americans, but some of those stories may not be as powerful without the artistic interpretations gifted to them. Learn about famous children’s book illustrators like Kadir Nelson or the Brooklyn-dwelling Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, a Black-Iranian visual artist who uses art to address the daily oppressive experiences of marginalized people through beautifully drawn and painted portraits.
We hope that through all of these engaging activities, we will encourage our community to learn about Black history makers, explore cultural traditions, and honor the evolution of Black history in America. The experiences of African Americans affect all of us, and their stories continue to shape our reality. From the Civil Rights Movement to #BlackLivesMatter, it is vital to understand our history so that we can impact our future.
Eagle Rock Library