4 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month with Your Birth Child
Black History Month is an important holiday that celebrates African Americans’ importance and their influences in the world during February. As you go through your adoption process, your birth child may ask questions on why this is such an important holiday to celebrate. They may be curious about people who may look like them, or what this holiday means to them as an adoptee in a transracial family.
Transracial adoption is when a child from a different race is placed with adoptive parents from another race. Also known as interracial adoption, transracial adoption is becoming more common, and both birth and adoptive families are choosing open adoption as a way to let the child form a connection with their birth parents.
Teaching your black child about this holiday will help them feel more connected to others who look like them, and learn about the world, its differences, and its people. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we have chosen the four ways you can celebrate Black History Month with your birth child.
1. Read Books about Diversity during Black History Month
Reading books about diversity and Black History Month is a meaningful way to teach your child about other races, ethnicities, and cultures around the world. To help them learn about people who may look different from them. Embracing diversity is vital for your child as he or she grows and forms relationships with various people throughout their life. Helping your child expand their worldview will help them be a more open-minded individual.
Through reading books about diversity, your child can enjoy fun traditions outside of their own culture, while learning to embrace others’ differences in a positive way.
2. Teach Your Child about Black History Month
Black History Month is such an important day to celebrate with your birth child. As they grow older, they will have many experiences that may define them. Teaching him or her about Black History Month can be through any media platform, like music or TV shows, or going to special community events and doing kid-related activities, like helping your child draw their adoptive family and birth family.
Talking to your child about how people like them have helped the world by becoming doctors or teachers will help them know that they can do anything they put their minds to and learn to be proud of their origins.
3. Show Your Child Movies about Black History Month
Watching age-appropriate movies, like Walt Disney’s Princess and the Frog or Marvel’s The Black Panther, can help your child learn and appreciate other races, ethnicities, and cultures around the world. Additionally, if you and your child are of a different culture or your child is being raised by a transracial adoptive family, seeing characters who look like them on screen can help them understand where they come from and why it is important to celebrate people like them. It can also help them feel more comfortable with being who they are and embracing their identity as an African American adoptee.
The above-mentioned movies can also teach your child about the values of hard work, perseverance, and the importance of family.
4. Visit Black History Month Events during Black History Month
Visiting Black History Month events, like museum tours and parades, can be a great way to learn about Black History Month. Having your child try and eat African American food at a festival or during a community event is an excellent way for them to experience another culture. By visiting a museum, your birth child can get to know all about the history of their birth family or their adoptive family. This can help them create a healthy and strong sense of identity.
Advice to Birth Mothers during Black History Month
Being a birth mother and explaining to a child what these holidays mean embodies you as a mother and an African American woman. This holiday will teach your child about accepting others who may be of a different race or culture from them. The influence that comes from African American history and its culture will shape your birth child as they grow and help define them later on in their way with how they see the world.
Meet the Author: Samara Wiley is a published author of poetry, essays, and an environmental children’s storybook called, Waiting for the Water Fairy. She graduated from Benedictine University in 2018 with a double Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and French.She has been published in three small poetry anthologies one was called Talented.
Her other writing accomplishments include: winning a high school poetry competition and $2500 for her high school, having two out of her five novels be considered for publication and writing movie critic reviews for her university’s newsletter.
Although she has Cerebral Palsy and has had a turbulent childhood, Samara puts these small specs of herself into her writing to personally connect with her audience. She prides herself on pushing the boundaries in her writing and in her personal life with everything she does. Samara writes with her heart and a voice of compassion, and loves to pull from her top passions in life.
She currently lives in Yorkville, Illinois with her mom and two sisters.