It’s Black History Month! This is a special time of year for African American families. This is our time to reiterate with our children the importance of our rich history and many contributions to our country. As each year passes, I can’t help but feel as though Black History Month is becoming a dying tradition. But for many of us, it lives on and we aim to make it thrive and keep the celebration alive.

We live in changing times. It is truly remarkable how far we have come as a race of people in our country, but there is still much to be accomplished and desired. So many African American youth are growing up lacking knowledge of their history – our fight to become recognized citizens or to be recognized as humans for that matter. This is not to dwell on the past or prove that as a people we can’t move on and just be happy with what we have. Instead, it is about understanding our roots in order to understand our path in life.

Children (all children) must understand the history and origin of their family. I believe that when you have a full understanding of how you began, it helps to clear the way for a more successful life in the future. This is what Black History Month does for our culture. Don’t assume that this means we only acknowledge our culture once a year. My skin is brown 365 days a year (366 in a leap year) therefore, Black history is every day for me! Ask most African Americans and they’ll tell you the same.

My husband and I do our best to teach our children about renowned African American figures as well as those not so well known. Black History Month is the opportunity to celebrate African American culture – who we are, what we are, and what we strive to become. There’s no hatred in that, just good old fashioned pride.

Challenge yourself to learn something new each week about an African American contributor, activist, artist, musician, entertainer, inventor, writer, author, orator, or entrepreneur. And I do mean challenge yourselves people. No Dr. King, Rosa Parks, or Ruby Bridges. You already know them. But really try to learn about someone you’re not familiar with. I follow two blogs that feature information on African American Achievement daily. I’ll post them below. These blogs will be a great start to educating yourself on our rich history.

Black America Web features a segment daily known as Little Known Black History Fact. Each day this segment provides a tidbit about an African American figure, their life, and their contributions. Black America Web is sponsored by The Tom Joyner Morning Show, a nationally syndicated radio talk show that airs daily. You can check your local listings for stations and times to hear the Little Known Black History Fact each day.

The Brown Book Shelf will feature an African American writer or illustrator for each day throughout the month of February. This is day 5. Click the link to find out the featured author/illustrator of the day. Explore to read about others who have been featured since February 1st.

Happy Black History Month.