If you haven’t read our previous blog post on why all families should celebrate Black History Month, click here.
Black History Month is the perfect opportunity for all families to expose ourselves to the rich heritage, stories, and contributions made by black people throughout time.
At Parenting Journey, we believe that strong families are the foundation of vibrant healthy communities and a catalyst for social change. A recent report titled, Distortion of Our Families, found that media outlets promoted racially biased portrayals and myths that pathologize black families and idealize white families with respect to poverty and crime.
“The current news media landscape is shaped by news industry decision makers who continue to inaccurately depict Black fathers as absent, Black mothers as bad decision makers and Black families as destabilizing forces in society,” the report notes. “As a result of their persistent distortions and inaccuracies, news media are gravely failing to present evenhanded, true-to-life and multidimensional portrayals of what it means to be a family in this country… failing families by reinforcing unfounded assumptions about them, helping to justify bad federal and state economic policies that will doom American families for generations to come.”
Through the families we currently work with, we’ve witnessed the stress and anxiety these false narratives continue to have on Black families while enabling hurtful policies that do not provide solutions for social change.
This month, we are committed to debunking these negative narratives on the many families we work with everyday through our online campaign, #BlackFamilyStories, where we’ll be sharing Black stories on behalf of our staff and partners. The late Virginia Hamilton, the author of The People Could Fly—a revered children’s book of African American storytelling—said that storytelling was the first opportunity for black folks to represent themselves as anything other than property.
Black history comes from a long line of storytellers and we’re inviting all Black families across the country to share important lessons, memories and stories of inspiration they’ve learned from their family members.
In addition to highlighting these stories, they will also serve as the building blocks to our efforts in advocating for equitable family policies.
Together, we can create more inclusive and equitable communities to provide parents and children with the tools and resources needed to uplift all families across the country.
Happy Black History Month!
– Parenting Journey Team