Why should we celebrate cultural heritage months like Black History Month? For starters, celebrating cultural heritage months provide a low barrier to entry that allows people of all backgrounds the opportunity to step outside their comfort zones and learn something new. Cultural heritage months grant marginalized groups the opportunity to celebrate what makes them unique. And finally, when we celebrate cultural heritage months, individuals focus their learning efforts toward expanding their understanding of others and their relationship to them.
Unfortunately, not everyone believes in the benefits of celebrating cultural heritage months. We see, for example, a Utah Montessori sent a letter home that allowed parents to opt-out of Black History Month celebrations. After the school’s decision drew attention and scrutiny online, school leadership eventually walked back the decision. We have lots of work to do to create more welcoming communities, more inclusive historical narratives, and a more three-dimensional school curriculum. I talk about how to do this in Episode 222 of the Edit Your Life Show podcast with Christine Koh.
The kids and I sat down and held a family discussion about Black History Month, what this month means to us, and what we hope others gain from a month-long exploration into the Black experience. We hope you enjoy the podcast episode below.
We want everyone to celebrate Black History month so we created a Black History Month Toolkit with resources, playlists, and podcasts. Our goal is to encourage anyone and everyone to learn about Black people and Black culture in both meaningful and manageable ways. There’s also a free download to help you extend your Black history exploration well after February.
More of our thoughts on the Black experience:
I'm a former teacher and former college athlete, currently working in edtech. My mission is to get parents to partner with their child's teacher.