Clinically reviewed by Jacqueline Mitchell, LMSW 

It’s never too early, or too late, to start teaching your kids about diversity and inclusion. 

After all, studies show that children start developing biases when they’re as young as 6 months old — and can become set in their beliefs by age 12 —  so it’s important to also teach them positive, age-appropriate lessons about diversity and anti-racism. 

And while conversations like these are important year round, Black History Month can be an excellent opportunity to get started with teaching your kids about representation, diversity, and other key lessons they’ll carry into adulthood. 

In this article, we’ll share three ideas for how you can celebrate Black History Month with your family this year. 

Why is Black History Month Important? 

Every February, Black History Month celebrates the amazing achievements of Black Americans throughout U.S. history. This yearly celebration also acknowledges the systemic racism that every Black American has had to overcome.

This month is about inspiration and empowerment, but it’s also a reminder of how much work we still have to do to build a more equitable society.

Black History Month has evolved since it was first created by the historian Carter G. Woodson, but it officially became a national holiday in 1976. To learn more about the origins of the holiday, we recommend this article from the National Museum of African American History and Culture. 

3 Ways to Observe Black History Month in 2024 

1. Teach Your Kids About Influential Black Americans 

One of the best ways to honor Black History Month is by celebrating all the heroes who came before. Consider taking some time to talk with your kids about important Black Americans throughout history. 

You could even turn this into a fun activity for the whole family by asking each child to read a book or watch a video and present what they learned at dinner. 

Not sure where to start? Check out this list from National Geographic Kids.

And if you want to learn more about the roles that Black Americans have played in the mental health space, check out this post from our Instagram.

2. Read Books and Watch Movies with Strong Black Characters

Positive representation matters, especially for kids and teens. If kids never see someone who looks like them doing a certain job or getting to be the hero of their story, it’s much harder for them to see themselves in those roles. 

This Black History Month, try making it a priority to watch movies and shows and read books that feature strong, Black characters. Or better yet, look for media that was created by Black people about their own communities. 

PBS Kids created a helpful list of children’s books that place strong, Black characters at the center. If you have a younger child and want some suggestions, consider starting there!

3. Understand How Racial Inequality Impacts Mental Health 

We’ve come a long way when it comes to diversity and inclusion, but our country is still far from equitable. And unfortunately, the lasting effects of racism and inequity directly impact the mental health of Black Americans.

More than 7 million Black Americans live with a mental health condition, but the Black community also has significantly less access to mental health resources than white Americans. 

At Backpack Healthcare, we’re committed to not just providing therapy to people who need it, but also to hiring and training a diverse, inclusive team. We believe comprehensive, inclusive mental healthcare should be accessible to anyone who needs it, and we’re proud to play a role in helping a diverse patient population get the care they need. 

To learn more about how we’re breaking down barriers and healing young minds, or to partner with us to bring our services to people in your community, visit this page. And if you or your child could benefit from Backpack’s mental health services, get in touch with our team here. 

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