On the outside looking in, folks might think being in an interracial marriage means we’re obsessed with discussing race. We’re not. We’re just like any other family with four kids…completely chaotic. But I take Black History Month as an opportunity to talk to the kiddos about the history of African Americans in the country–the good, the bad, the uncomfortable. So I take out a book and ask The Boy (he’s eight) if he knows why we celebrate, and he said, “Because of Martin Luther King.”
“Yes; that’s partly true. Do you know who Martin Luther King was?”
“Yes! He freed the slaves.” (Give the kid a break; he’s single digits.) I stifle a giggle and he retracts…”Wait…I know, but it’s just hard to explain.”
Then Clo Clo (age 10) chimes in with, “Oh I know! Can I say? Martin Luther King is the reason black people have rights.”
The Babster just blinked.
So with that, I took out a book my sister-in-law bought the kids last Christmas (autographed by the author, thanks Deb!) and we read. I then took an opportunity to ask my kids what they thought about the story, and they were pretty silent. I went on to say how grateful I was for the brave African Americans who fought for freedom and equality, because without their efforts, we would never have existed as a family unit. The Hubster even joined in the conversation and thought we were polaroid-worthy.
So parents, how are you talking to your bi-racial kids about Black History Month?