Experiencing Local Black History with Preteens

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brown faces in a heart shape

I feel like there is so much repetition during Black History Month for our children. They learn about Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass and other prominent figures in African American history. Of course, these are very important figures to learn about but, every year it seems to be the same thing. There are so many other figures that should be celebrated like Bayard Rustin, Claudette Colvin, Jane Bolin, and so many more like these shared in O Magazine.

Oftentimes these historical heroes get lost when it comes to the education of the masses and our children. This, I’ve learned, is especially the case with local black history. For 2021, I decided to explore some of the histories of African American’s in Delaware to be able to share with my preteens in a meaningful manner to add more sustenance to Black History Month. 

Here are some ideas on how to localize Black History Month for you as well: 

For Readers

For older children who like to read, I found a great book in the Delaware Archives “A History of African Americans of Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore” edited by Carole Marks.

Give us Each Day is a collection of diary entries edited by Gloria T Hull. The entires detail the life of Alice Dunbar-Nelson (1875 – 1935) one of the most influential Delaware African-Americans of the 20th century. 

Delaware’s Underground Railroad

Want to get out of the house and hit the road? You can visit some of the local Historical areas. This way you can discuss but also add a visual aspect to the conversation of Black History Month. 

Kids always hear about the Underground Railroad, but wouldn’t it be fun to actually follow a bit of the path or see stops along the way? There are sites in Dover, Odessa, and Wilmington.  

If you’re up for a 95-mile drive (including loops) the Department of Transportation has an itinerary for you along with contacts, points of interest, and a guide to help you along. 

Have other ideas for the month? Share them with me please! I’m always looking for more ways to sneak education into my home. 

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