Sharing Black History Month with your family

There are lots of ways to explore #BlackHistoryMonth with your baby and older children this October. Here are some great books, TV programmes, videos and songs to enjoy together.

JoJo and Gran Gran

Gran Gran looks after JoJo when her parents are at work, and they learn and play together, having lots of fun along the way.

There’s a whole series about autumn, where JoJo and Gran Gran collect autumn leaves to complete her nature tick book, as well as getting ready for Halloween. You can watch all the episodes on BBC iPlayer.

My family, your family by Laura Henry Allain

The creator of Jo Jo and Gran Gran has written a non-fiction book (above), exploring how different families come together. It provokes discussions on family and how every one is unique. With illustrations by Giovana Mendeiros, it’s published by Penguin.

Black in Time by Alison Hammond

This Morning and Bake Off presenter Alison Hammond’s enthusiasm to tell people about famous Black British people through history is infectious!

The book features Black Britons including:

  • Mary Seacole
  • Ira Aldridge
  • George Bridgetower
  • Pablo Fanque
  • Water Tull

By the end of the book, you’ll agree with her that these Britons should indeed be famous.

Three Little Birds by Bob Marley

How much can you and your child find out about the iconic reggae song, Three Little Birds?

Head over to the CBeebies website to watch the video, listen to the song and see the signed version by Semhar and Tianah, then answer the quiz!

The History of Black History Month UK (In 60 seconds!)

This is a great short video on YouTube from Freedom is Mine Official. It explores the origins of Black History Month, from being established to promote Black history in public schools in the USA in 1926, to how it came to the UK and its impact on life today.

It explains how Black History Month is celebrated in February in the US, but in October in the UK so Black schoolchildren can begin the academic year with a sense of pride.

Funga Alafia

Listen to Funga Alafia, a West African African Nursery rhyme and welcoming song sung by The Treebees.

It’s in the original Yoruba language (Yorubaland stretches from Nigeria to Togo and Benin), as well as an English translation.

Watch the video on YouTube.

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o

Academy-Award winning Mexican-Kenyan actress Lupita reads from her book Sulwe, which means ‘Star’ in the Kenyan language of Luo.

The story revolves around a little girl who desperately wants to have lighter skin, like her sister. Finally, one night she sees a shooting star which helps her realise her worth. The book is beautifully illustrated by Vashti Harrison.

You can watch Lupita reading her book on the Bookmarks series on Netflix Jr, or buy the Penguin book to enjoy the pictures with your baby or child again and again.