Honoring Black History Month in Charleston with Kids
Black History Month was first proposed by Black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University in February 1969. Now celebrated nationwide every February, Black History Month provides a valuable opportunity for parents and children together to discover and explore parts of our nation’s history that are far too often neglected, like the important contributions of Black artists, inventors and scientists, and pushed under the rug, such as the harsh realities of slavery and social injustice.
There are plenty of opportunities for families to celebrate Black history in Charleston this month, from the College of Charleston’s event series, including a fun African Dance class led by faculty member Linda Harvey on Tuesday, Feb. 14 from 5-7 p.m. at the Cato Center for the Arts in Room 333, and the Plantation Singers a cappella performance of traditional Gullah Spirituals at Christ Church in Mount Pleasant on Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. There is no shortage of ways to come together as a community in celebration of this special month. Find out more about local Black History Month events here.
The Charleston County Public Library is hosting a number of family-friendly events to honor Black History Month. The Dorchester Road Library is hosting a month-long Black History Month scavenger hunt in the children’s department, and the Poe Library on Sullivan’s Island is hosting a scavenger hunt for teens and adults. The Wando Library in Mount Pleasant is offering two Artist Spotlight programs in the children’s department - one about Ann Cole Lowe and another on Feb. 28 about Alma Thomas. Both are at 3:30 p.m. for ages 6 and up. Charleston-area students in grades sixth through 12 can also participate in the 2023 Cynthia Graham Hurd/ St. Andrews Library TeenSpot Annual Black History Essay Contest.
Black History Month is also a great time to read together. Cassie Welch, Children’s System Coordinator at Charleston County Public Library, said, “Black History Month is a time to learn, educate and reflect. By sharing books with children, parents and caregivers have an opportunity to champion a sense of identity and belonging, not just for their own child but for their child’s peers as well, and to begin to have meaningful conversations.”
With so many events, resources and great literature at our fingertips, Black History Month is sure to be filled with enriching, enlightening and meaningful moments of sharing and conversation for families in Charleston.
CCPL Black History Month Recommended Books:
For young children:
● “Ada Twist, Scientist” by Andrea Beaty
● “Your Name is a Song” by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
● “Hey Black Child” by Useni Eugene Perkins
● “We Move the World” by Kari Lavelle
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