While February is a time to celebrate black history and the contributions of African-Americans, it can also be an opportunity to begin a real honest discussion with your kids about issues of race and tolerance for people who don’t look like them physically or who practice different religions.
Not to get all preachy on you, but most of us who call ourselves Americans have ancestors who didn’t arrive on Plymouth Rock, and after they made their way over here, they suffered the consequences of being different. So it’s really incumbent upon us parents to teach our kids to celebrate diversity.
Unfortunately, if we don’t gently cultivate their understanding and appreciation for other cultures early on, it will ultimately affect the type of adults they become. Now which one of us needs that on our conscience?
It might be worth it to check out these events below at The Brooklyn Children’s Museum and The Staten Island Children’s Museum , as a way to begin a dialogue about race and prejudice with your children. And to prepare them for these issues which, no matter how open-minded and nonjudgmental you have taught your children to be, will most certainly arise during their lifetime.
Brooklyn Children’s Museum- Saturday February 18th
They’re located next to beautiful Brower Park, just one mile from Grand Army Plaza, in the Heart of Brooklyn cultural hub. 145 Brooklyn Avenue (at St. Marks Avenue), Brooklyn, NY 11213
Extended Holiday Hours: 9:30am-5:00pm!
Play Lab Workshop: Marvelous Mardi Gras! 11:30, for 2 1/2 to 5 yr olds
It is time for Mardi Gras! Explore this festive holiday as you learn its cultural significance and create a colorful mask to take home.
MetLife Early Learner Performance: A Celebration of Black History with Calvin Booker and Friends
01:00 and 2:00 for All ages
Take a musical journey though Black History from traditional African Rhythms to Blues, Jazz and Hip Hop. Calvin Booker teaches the steps that will have everyone dancing though history! Made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New City Council in addition to the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State’s 62 counties.
Living the Legacy: Black History Collage 02:30, for 6 and up
Transform words and images into art! Join us in celebrating American ingenuity through a creative collage project! Bring Black History to life as you use your imagination to patchwork memorable photographs and expressions in your own “art masterpiece” to take home.
Anansi the African Spider Man 02:30, for 5 and under
Listen to cherished African tales of the mischievous Anansi the Spider and discover the beauty of the African culture. Create your own Anansi spider to take home.
Black History Month at the Staten Island Children’s Museum On Monday, February 20
1000 Richmond Terrace
Staten Island, NY 10301
On the grounds of Snug Harbor Cultural Center
On Monday, February 20 Museum goers will be treated to an interactive presentation by the Sandy Ground Historical Society. During this unique workshop that blends Art with history, children will learn about the Underground Railroad, and create colorful commemorative doorknob hangers which celebrate heroes of the movement. Staten Island’s Sandy Ground is the oldest community established by free slaves in North America and a major stop on the Underground Railroad. You will learn about its rich history from descendants of the original residents.
Monday, February 20 at 2 p.m., Sandy Ground Historical Workshops (every half hour from 2 to 4:30 p.m.) in the Walk-In Workshop. Monday, February 20, is a Cool School Holiday, sponsored by Scaran, vhich means visitors enjoy FREE admission all day and extended hours, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
*All programs are free with regular museum admission