Black History Month
and how to help honor it
Historian Carter G. Woodson, now recognized as the father of black history, is also credited as who began Black History Month. Woodson believed deeply that equality was only possible with the acknowledgement and understanding of a race’s history, and dedicated his life to the study of African-American historical research. He also hoped that there would come a time when Black History Month would be unnecessary; however, we still have a long way to go.
For this page, I simply wanted to highlight several resources you may explore on your own time; anything from the entertaining to the more academic.
African American History Month
Hosted by the Library of Congress, this website showcases a wide array of resources from exhibits to video broadcasts.
Martin Luther King's recommendations
King himself has mentioned a few resources he hopes would get more recognition on Black History Month. These include the website BlackPast.org, and the Black History Mobile Museum. He also mentioned two books: "A Black Woman's History of the United States" and "From Slavery to Freedom". King emphasized that all educators should focus on teaching Black history from Black perspectives.
See also, The 35th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Netflix has curated an entire selection for the Black Lives Matter movement. Take this time as your opportunity to watch shows and documentaries you might not normally delve into. Education is also a form of entertainment.
"Judas and the Black Messiah" Film
Shaka King’s “Judas and the Black Messiah” focuses on the rise in power of the chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya), and the betrayal that led to his death at the hands of the F.B.I. Catch this film streaming on HBO Max on February 12th.
Support Black business
There are a plethora of ways to find and support local Black-owned business.
I want to highlight POCAAN (People of Color Against AIDS Network). From their site: "Established in 1987, POCAAN is a multicultural, multi-social service agency serving marginalized communities in Seattle and greater King County. For many years our work has been rooted in HIV/AIDS prevention, but it has grown with the understanding that related issues such as substance abuse, incarceration, homelessness, sexually transmitted diseases, racism, sexism and homophobia also contribute to community marginalization and health disparities."
Ask others what has worked for them! Where did they start their education? What have they read? Have you had your own "a-ha!" moment regarding Black history?
Something on my mind was HBO's recent Watchmen series which aired just over a year ago. (Worth to mention, you do probably need some base knowledge of the comic or at least the film adaptation by Snyder in order to follow the entire story.) Their opening scene is a depiction of the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. The scene is particularly striking and disturbing, and is a foundation for many explored themes in the show, such as trauma being passed down through generations. The scariest part is that the scene is very historically accurate. I was horrified by my own ignorance about the Tulsa Race Riot; how could I have never been taught about something so heinous in my own country's history? We owe it to ourselves to not let our own educations sabotage us.