When a child knows who they are, they are better equipped to love themselves and those who came before them.

Help your child embrace their history. When a child knows where they came from, they are better equipped to love themselves and others.

Although I don’t know my origin story, I know that those that came before me paved the way for me to be here. As a mixed-race African American woman, it wasn’t until I was older that I fully understood our people. Understood their contributions, and the strength that they had to endure.

As an educator and children’s author, my goal is to give every child the opportunity to know who they are. When a child knows who they are, they are better equipped to love themselves and those who came before them.

When you own the truth of your origin story, it can never be erased

Sara Chinakwe

With that said, how do parents, give children opportunities to embrace their own history while exploring others?

Our History is more than Just Race

According to Dr. Lucretia Carter Berry, author of Hues of You, race is a concept created to institute a social hierarchy, so racial categories describe only how we are grouped and not how we actually look. Research has found that conversations with children about skin tone and race must be explicit. Should use simple terms that children understand, and should be incorporated into family life and formal learning settings.

Therefore, the concept of race doesn’t go far enough. In order for people to embrace their full identity we need to look to our past for the keys to our future. Some of us know exactly where we came from, the origin story is very clear; told from one generation to the next. For others, self-included, history is lost. However, we can look to the people who paved the way for us to be here today.

Knowing your History

Before we can showcase the amazing contributions our ancestors made we have to know our history. Parents, just because you didn’t learn about the amazing contributions others made throughout Black history doesn’t mean you have to stop there. Even if your family history is painful to talk about, the stories need to be shared; they need to be kept alive. Chances are your child isn’t learning a whole lot about their history in their formative years from school. So, if you don’t teach them who will? Seems like it is time to share what you know with them. Or better yet, learn right alongside them.  What an amazing gift you’ll be giving to both yourself and your child.


Create the Dialogue

There are so many ways to help your child embrace their identity as long as you keep the dialogue going. Try engaging your child in activities like cultural fairs, filling your home library with diverse books, and buying baby dolls that are of a different race than your own. The main point is to encourage and keep the conversation going. Remember as your child’s first teacher, you have the opportunity to instill in them a deep rich love for themselves and others.

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