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Kid-Friendly Videos and Podcasts for Exploring Black History and Culture

Check out these free resources to spark conversations about Black artists, activists, leaders, and pioneers who have made history.

Black History Month gives us the opportunity to reflect on Black voices and experiences, and find new ways to celebrate the community year-round. You may be looking to start important conversations about Black history with your children or continue building their understanding of the past.

These short, free videos and podcasts can help you and your children learn about the artists, activists, leaders, and pioneers who have shaped our culture. Plus, these resources can spark conversations about your own family's history and the importance of representation.

For Kids Age 3–8

As you watch or listen with young children, ask them to describe what they're seeing or hearing. Help them connect what they're learning about to their own lives. Do they love to dance like Misty Copeland? Would they like to take to the skies like James Banning and Bessie Coleman one day?

Videos and podcasts about pioneers, inventors, and activists who have made history:

Stories and videos about culture and making a difference:

For Kids Age 9–12

Older kids may be familiar with some of the figures and events in the podcasts and videos here. Watching or listening together as a family can give children a chance to share what they know and ask questions about these topics. Encourage deeper learning by looking for movies or books about any of the leaders who spark their interest. Whose story inspires them most? Why?

For Teens

Dive deeper into the stories of figures who fought for civil rights and freedom. You could talk as a family about the movements they advanced and the systemic issues they worked to overcome. Are your teens familiar with these icons? Can they think of ways their legacies have made an impact in their own community?

  • James Baldwin: Explore how the author's writing on race, class, and culture continues to resonate with people across the world.

  • Gladys Bentley: The Harlem Renaissance performer broke barriers in gender roles and traditions.

  • Marsha P. Johnson: Learn about activist Marsha P. Johnson and her fight for LGBTQ+ rights.

  • Tommie Smith and John Carlos: The athletes' brave act at the 1968 Olympics inspired generations of activists and highlighted the role that sports figures can play in politics. (Note: This video contains material that may be sensitive for some teens, including a clip of former President Trump calling Colin Kaepernick a "son of a bitch.")

  • Rosa Parks: Check out some lesser-known details about the civil rights hero's work.

Plus, check out these great Black history and culture podcasts for teens:

Find more great resources to celebrate Black achievements, history, and culture.

Raisa Masood

Raisa is passionate about helping kids thrive, which has led to her making a career out of reading and watching children's media. As a content editor at Common Sense, she works on tips and advice for families on managing media and tech at home. She has also previously worked in children's publishing and nonprofit organizations. Raisa loves to read, travel, and watch football (aka soccer). You can find her exploring New York City during her free time, and trying to hunt down the best dumplings in the city (she has a never-ending list).