The Importance of Black Parents Introducing Science to their Children

Acquiring Knowledge for Our Children

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad's profound message still stands true today regarding us educating our children in the sciences. In Message to the Black Man in America, he states the following: " The acquiring of knowledge for our children and ourselves must not be limited to the three R's reading, writing, and arithmetic.
It should instead include the history of the Black nation, the knowledge of civilization of man and the universe and all the sciences" (Muhammad, 1965).
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan  has spoken at many colleges and universities across the United States  where he encourages  students to study courses in nation building like  math and science and to  major in engineering, mathematics and biology. 

Underrepresented In Physical Science Degrees

In a research paper entitled, Is Science for Us? Black Students’ and Parents’ Views of Science and Science Careers, the paper uses an intersectional analysis of the qualitative data to examine why science careers are less “thinkable” for Black students. A case study is also presented of two young Black women who “bucked the trend” and aspired to science careers (Archer & Osborne, 2015). 
There is a widespread concern among governments and policy makers in Western developed nations (e.g., ACOLA, 2013; US President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, 2010; Danish EU presidency, 2012) that more needs to be done to improve—to increase and widen—participation in postcompulsory science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
(Archer & Osborne, 2015).  Another outstanding fact in the article indicates that
"Figures from the United Kingdom and United States indicate that, in general, those from minority ethnic backgrounds are underrepresented in physical science degrees and are less likely to work in science, engineering, and technology professions" (Archer & Osborne, 2015). 

Institutionalized Racism

Also mentioned by  Archer & Osborne (2015) is that "Wider research on the reasons for Black students' more general under attainment in education has pointed to a complex mixture of factors, underpinned by pervasive and institutionalized racism within society. There is a substantive body of research evidence pointing to the pervasive and pernicious effects of the lower expectations that teachers have been found to express for minority ethnic students". Some previous literature and education policy has suggested that the reasons why Black students tend to be underrepresented in higher education, and particularly in fields such as science, can be attributed to their lower attainment, interest, and/or aspirations (Archer & Osborne, 2015). 

 Mothers and  Science 

A recommendation made in the article  for mothers included the following: "For instance, Calabrese Barton et al.'s (2001) study found that mothers who had spent time doing science with their children were more likely to have a more personal, dynamic, and inquiry-based view of science. They also found that mothers' perceptions of science were more dynamic when they spoke about situations and contexts that were familiar to them, such as food, nutrition, and child care. In other words, supporting families to feel comfortable and knowledgeable about science and to see its relevance to the lives of parents and children might help more Black students to develop and sustain science aspirations" (Archer & Osborne, 2015). 

Book Recommendations

Lastly, listed below are a few books that parents should add to their children's home library to  introduce  them to science: 


Archer, L., Dewitt, J., & Osborne, J. (2015). Is science for us? Black students’ and parents’ views of science and science careers. Science education99(2), 199-237.
Muhammad, E. (1965). Message to the black man in america, 41.