Posted by: nancyisanders | February 1, 2011

Let’s Celebrate Black History Month!

February is one of my favorite months of the year. That’s because this is a month that is set aside to honor and celebrate America’s Black History.

Of course, I love to celebrate this important aspect of America’s history all year long, but it’s especially fun in February when lots of schools and community events feature the individuals and events in special ways.

To start off our celebration here on my blog this year, I’d like to invite you to
listen to an interview on Wallbuilders Live!. (You can also visit Wallbuilder’s site directly to hear the interview and click on their resources links.)

Also, I wanted to feature a craft and information about the special holiday, Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa

In 1966, Kwanzaa was first celebrated in Los Angeles, California, by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor of black studies, with his family and friends. With the vision of introducing a special holiday to celebrate the cultural heritage of African Americans, Dr. Karenga created Kwanzaa. More and more families celebrate Kwanzaa each year. This seven-day celebration starts on December 26 and ends on January 1.

During the celebration of Kwanzaa, many people might wear a kufi. A kufi is a round hat made from soft fabric with an African design. You can make a kufi from felt to wear, too.

Materials
Strips of red, yellow, black, and green felt, 2 by 24 inches
Sharp scissors
Needle
Thread
8 safety pins

Wrap a black strip of felt around your head for the headband. Overlap the edges 1 inch, cutting away the extra felt. Use a safety pin to hold the ends together. Use a needle and thread to stitch the headband together.

With the headband on your head, use a yellow strip to measure from one side of the headband, across the top of your head, and to the other side of the headband. Cut this strip to the correct length for the top of your hat. Cut one strip of red felt, green felt, and black felt to match the same length as the yellow strip. You should now have four shorter strips of felt.

Following the illustration as a guide, arrange the four felt strips so they overlap in the center like spokes on a wheel. Stitch through the center with your needle and thread. Use the safety pins to pin the edge of each felt strip around the headband so that all the strips are evenly spaced. Try on your kufi to see if it fits. Trim any strips that seem too long and adjust the safety pins as needed. Stitch each strip of felt to the headband, removing the safety pins as you go.
-excerpt from A KID’S GUIDE TO AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY (Second Edition, Chicago Review Press, 2007)


Responses

  1. This is a fantastic craft idea! We teach sewing to children and use safety pins all the time to hold items together before sewing. Thank you Nancy for posting this here for all to see!

  2. Thanks, Laura. I’m glad you like this idea. My book, A Kid’s Guide to African American History, has over 70 crafts like this for children. -Nancy


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