Black History Month Events CT in February 2016 is the 40th anniversary of our government’s official recognition of this focus.  It can be an opportunity for kids (and parents) to learn about the courage of others in our country and how through their efforts America achieved civil rights for everyone. We reflect on and honor the African-American experience from the times of slavery through the present. Everywhere you look, black culture, talent and expression have played an enormous role in shaping America’s past and present. Take time to research with your children and answer questions you both might have, and show them how to accept “colors” of all kinds!

Places to visit with African American themed events:

The Amistad Center for Art & Culture hosts their tribute “Black Promises,” a new exhibition.

Making Freedom, The Life of Venture Smith: In His Own Voice” exhibit in Torrington until February 27.

Bridgeport Libraries host a fun interactive program Pearlye Sams Allen’s “Bus Program” for children that tells the story behind the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights Movement.

Check out Hartford Public Library‘s calendar for special lectures and activities.

Art museums and galleries will also host exhibits focusing on the black experience in America – “And Still We Rise” is a collection of 47 vibrantly colored quilts telling stories from African-American history at The Bruce Museum of Arts and Science, Greenwich; explore “Black Pulp” at Yale School of Art

Other resources: offers information about Connecticut residents who impacted freedom.

Some books to read with your kids:

I Have A Dream by award-winning artist Kadir Nelsonillustrates Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech with 17 original oil paintings for his latest book that pay tribute to King’s speech and the civil rights movement. Nelson says he hopes the book will get children thinking about how they can help fulfill King’s dream for America.

Who Was Rosa Parks? of the popular paperback series introudces us to the brave woman who became a civil rights hero because of where she chose to sit on a bus. And The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine tell how two girls overcome prejudice with their friendship when their school in Arkansas faces integration. Both should be available at your school or public library as well as through Barnes & Nobles stores where you can also find a storytime and activity near you!

Black History Month for Kids printables by grade.