A is for Affirm: Affirmations Tools for Black Children

We know how important it is to celebrate our Black children—these guides help.

Young black girl smiling in a mirror
Photo: Getty Images

We have seen the videos across our feeds and on our timelines: Parents, guardians, and even teachers standing with children, staring into mirrors or each other's eyes. They are repeating phrases back to one another, back to themselves:

"I am smart."

"I am brave"

"My life matters."

'I am destined for greatness."

These moments warm our hearts and bring smiles to our faces as we scroll. We fawn over the parents' gentle voices. We almost giggle at the little ones' gurgling pronunciation of the words. We may even get teary-eyed watching these little babies smile at themselves and their guardians as they go through this exercise.

We love these moments and we have noticed many more of them lately. The rise in affirmations for Black children is no coincidence. Many of us intentionally choose to start or end our days (or both) speaking affirmations to and over our children.

The practice of affirmation is not new to our community. We can think of those elders who practiced "speaking over" the children, weathered palms placed upon babies' foreheads as they recited religious passages or family slogans. What is new is the returning to this practice—one many families got away from for generations—with the help of resources, data-driven research, and our own creativity.

New to affirmations? Not to worry, here are 5 places you can go to get you started:

Book Cover: I Affirm Me by Nyasha Williams
Hachette Book Group

I Affirm Me: The ABCs of Inspiration for Black Kids by Nyasha Williams

Using the alphabet to guide even the youngest readers and their parents, Nyasha Williams pairs each letter with culturally affirming phrases worth repeating. From "A is for Afro" to "V is for Vision" this book of affirmations nurtures Black children and their guardians, helping them to embrace who they are and the joy of childhood.

ABC Affirmation flashcards featuring images of Black children
Liberated Young

Liberated Young Affirmation Cards

Writer and educational advocate Tyshia Ingram created these alphabetized affirmation cards as an educational study. They soon grew in popularity because of their minimalist artwork paired with powerful affirmations. With the choice of either the "Black Girl Magic" or "Black Boy Joy" set, parents can use these cards in numerous ways, whether reading one a day or included in various games.

Book Cover: I am Enough by Grace Byers

I Am Enough by Grace Byers

"Like the sun, I am here to shine." Actress, activist, and author Grace Byers uses affirmative phrases and vivid imagery to illustrate the power of purpose and inclusion. With themes of compassion, kindness, and personal empowerment, kids can take each of these claims—created to be repeated—with them throughout their days.

Book Cover: Bloom by Ruth Forman
Simon & Schuster

Bloom and Glow by Ruth Forman

Author and former professor Ruth Forman shares her beautifully simple affirmation poems in these illustrated board books that introduce self-love to even the youngest of readers. While Glow features a young boy who celebrates his dark skin with the bright moon, Bloom is a story where various little girls joyfully appreciate how each is as unique and beautiful as a blossoming flower.

Gracie's Corner
Gracie's Corner

Gracie's Corner

Now a viral hit with children and parents, Gracie's Corner features educational songs designed to engage everyone in the family and get you dancing. Whether learning what sound the letters make in "The Phonics Song" or enjoying revamped classics like "Row Your Boat" or "If You're Happy and You Know It," Gracie makes sure that there are affirming nuggets that you and your kids can repeat in every episode.

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