How to make celebrating Black History Month a family affair

Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 11:25 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - There are several ways to make celebrating Black History Month a family affair in Central Virginia.

Lindsey Garrison, is the publisher and editor of RVA on the Cheap, has several suggestions.

Her first recommendation is to visit the Arthur Ashe mural in Battery Park.

“If you play tennis on those tennis courts, you’re playing tennis right where he learned to play and where he grew up playing,” said Garrison. “So I think that makes learning really meaningful for kids.”

You may also consider heading over to The Valentine museum, which is free for kids under 18. There are tons of Virginia history lessons there, including Richmond’s role in the civil rights movement.

“They have a picture telling the story of the sit-in at Woolworth’s Cafe,” said Garrison. “So that’s just a really easy way to start a conversation with your child if you don’t feel like going into the museum online.”

If you want to tie that lesson together, you can go see that seat at the Black History Museum and Culture Center of Virginia, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

The entire museum is filled with opportunities to discuss black history.

Maggie Walker is a huge historical figure, and you can tour her home for free.

“My family did that tour, and we found the (Park) Rangers to just be very engaging, great teachers for my kids, (and) also for my husband and I,” said Garrison. “We learned a lot from that. And for that one, I would recommend before you go, you can print a little Junior Ranger booklet off their website so your kids can answer questions throughout the tour.”

If you’re willing to make the drive to Farmville, Garrison recommends the Robert Russa Moton Museum.

The tours tell the story of Barbara Johns, who along with her classmates, fought injustice.

“And she was a teenager when she did that,” said Garrison. “So I think that’s a really powerful place to take your children and say, like, you don’t have to wait until you’re an adult is to have a voice and to say this isn’t right, so that that place is just one in a million. And Barbara Johns case ... that became part of Brown versus Board of Education.”

Garrison also urges parents to not forget about visiting a local library. Not only are there great reads to celebrate Black history any time of year, there are also specific things programmed for this month.