The black family structure and cultural diversity has long been a matter of interest and discussion. There are many questions around the black family structure. And one cannot simply minimize or deny the importance of the uniqueness of it.
P.S: Please share this post on Pinterest with the Pinterest images at the bottom of the post.
Black family experiences are not homogenous, nor are the legacies Black families leave behind.
The Association for the Study of African American Life and History explains that:
“The Black family knows no single location. Since family reunions and genetic-ancestry searches testify to the spread of family members across states, nations, and continents.”
So, if you or your students have been curious about the black family structure. Or you’re looking for books to educate about black history and family. Here are books that can help you explore the black family structure for your middle and high school classrooms.
Black History Month
This year‘s Black history month theme designated by the Association for the study of African American Life and History is the Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.
And there’s so many great books that are available for middle and high school teachers to use in their classrooms to explore this theme and in today’s blog I’m going to share some of those books with you that I think will do an amazing job of opening up conversations in your classrooms.
The Black Family Structure
The Black family structure is a complicated one because of centuries of families being broken apart by systemic racism. It isn’t just your typical mom, dad, and 2.5 kids but extended family of aunties and uncles who may not be blood related as well as communities of church and neighbors that treat you as family.
The idea of extended family is one that has been part of the Black family and identity as a source of unity, support, and love. So it is very important to celebrate the uniqueness and variations of the black family for our students.
Let’s look at some great books to examine this theme.
5 Black Family Structure Books For Your Middle and High School Classrooms
Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper
This story is set during the Jim Crow era as we glimpse into the lives of Black families living in the South under the constant fear of the Ku Klux Klan. Through the eyes of the young narrator we see how a community is an extension of family and will rally together for their collective good.
Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas
Cousins who are like brothers navigating a world void of fathers but who try to be better than the fathers they lost. The culture is all they know and understand. The family they have is all they know and understand and readers get to see how Maverick defines family for himself.
Some Places More than Others by Renee Watson
There is often a sense of longing to be connected to our roots as Black folks because so much of our history has been lost and can never be found again and this wonderfully written book by Renee Watson explores this theme about family generations and knowing what we can about our history.
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Set in the mid of the twentieth century, Woodson crafts a story in verse of her life growing up and developing her sense of identity. Part of that identity is the effect of the migration of Blacks from south to north and how it affected families such as hers. A must read for both middle and high school students.
Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule by Harriette Gillem Robinet
There can be no discussion on the Black family without examining the effects of enslavement. Families torn apart through violence and a chance of a new beginning at the end of the Civil War is the story behind this book. Rich in historical details, the reader goes along for the highs and lows these brothers and their families experience.
These books and many more are great choices to begin exploring a unique and often misunderstood topic. But that’s what makes books necessary. They allow for others to glimpse into the world of others and gain a better understanding.
I hope that these books helps you explore what the black family is like with your students. And answer other questions about the black family structure and the black community as a whole.
Psssst: If you are a black boy mom or you have black boys in your classrooms, I’m sure they NEED people to see them beyond trauma, pain, violence and poverty. Let’s interrupt the narrative about African- American boys through these 5 Books
Want to share this post on Pinterest? Pin the images below!
What books have been helpful in exploring and educating your classroom about the black family? Let’s chat about it in the comment section.