Each February, the United States observes Black History Month, a month dedicated to honoring the history, struggles, and triumphs of black people in America and around the world.
Its purpose is to educate us and remind us that black people have always been a contributing force in this nation and the world. The goal shouldn't solely be to celebrate Black History for a month, but to overcome our historical amnesia and to acknowledge and incorporate black history for what it is. Black history is American History. Black history is World History. Black history is a rich and integral part of our collective history.
While the stories highlighted during this month often focuses on famous and exceptional figures, it is also the contributions of regular people and everyday actions that have also crafted the world we have inherited. It is often those figures that are most relatable, and no less important, and equally missing from the general narrative.
While Rosa Parks and MLK are important people with major contributions, there are so many other people we should enriching our collective knowledge and experience with. For example, read about Shirley Chisolm, the first Black woman elected to Congress, and Fannie Lou Hamer, a Black activist from Mississippi who launched Freedom Farm Cooperative (FFC), an initiative to purchase land that Black people could collectively own and farm. Read or listen to “1619″ Project. Enjoy black authors Black authors in your reading list. Visit BlackPast.org for an extensive list of other notable Black figures. Dig into these collections, exhibits, and resources, or if you are an educator, these educational resources for teachers.
If you are as much a viewer as a reader, there are fantastic lists of documentaries from PBS or this List of 91 Movies and TV Shows to Stream and dive into wonderful performances by epic black leads and casts like award-winning Octavia Spencer in "Self Made", inspired by the life of Madam C.J. Walker, the first African American self-made millionaire, including Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us,” a drama about a real-life group of Black teens falsely accused of a vicious attack; “Loving,” a film about an interracial couple whose marriage became the basis of a landmark Supreme Court case; and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” starring Viola Davis as the groundbreaking Southern blues singer; and don't leave out outstanding comic performances like Tiffany Haddish's 'They Ready".
And if you love music, celebrate and listen to music created by Black artists, for example, on Spotify’s “Black History is Now” or Amazon's 'Black History Month". Find classics Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles as well as current recording stars like H.E.R., Anderson .Paak and Andra Day.
Meanwhile, this month and throughout the year, Donate Good Stuff will be highlighting people and innovative and exceptional organizations that are working to further black health, education, rights and community development. They are making tomorrow's history today, working toward a more vibrant, rich, and equitable world for future generations. Although not all organizations may be collecting donation items through Donate Good Stuff, they merit recognition and support of their work to support anti-racism equity and equality.
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