Black History Month Month is observed in February to honor the triumphs and struggles of African Americans throughout U.S. history.
Below, we have included helpful information and resources to help you honor and celebrate.
What to Read
- All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks – examines the foundation of love and how cultural norms have shaped how we love one another.
- The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Les Payne and Tamara Payne – award-winning biography of the civil rights leader, which paints a portrait of Malcolm X unlike any other.
- Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson – Woodson’s National Book Award and Newbery Honor winner is a powerful memoir that tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.
- Recitatif by Toni Morrison – a short story about race and the relationships that shape us through life. Morrison herself described this story as “an experiment in the removal of all racial codes from a narrative about two characters of different races for whom racial identity is crucial.”
- Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson – In this moving debut novel, two estranged siblings must set aside their differences to deal with their mother’s death and her hidden past—a journey of discovery that takes them from the Caribbean to London to California and ends with her famous black cake.
What to Watch
- Black-ish – A fun yet bold sitcom that takes a look at one man’s determination to establish a sense of cultural identity for his family.
- Atlanta – FX’s innovative comedy Atlanta by Donald Glover centers on two cousins working in the city’s rap music scene to better their lives. Along the way, they come face to face with social and economic issues touching on race, relationships, poverty, status, and parenthood.
- Hidden Figures – The story of a team of female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program.
- King in the Wilderness – A portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. during the last years of his life, from his part in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to his assassination in 1968.
- African-American Lives – A four-hour PBS documentary series tracing Black History through genealogy and DNA science.
- Just Mercy – Based on the powerful and thought-provoking true story of young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice.
What to Listen to
- 1619 by The New York Times – Hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones, the show examines the long shadow of American slavery.
- The Nod by Gimlet Media – Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings gleefully explore all the beautiful, complicated dimensions of Black life.
- One Mic Black History by Countryboi – Centers around little-known events or persons from Black history and attempts to enlighten and empower through learning more about African American History.
- Black History Buff Podcast by King Kurus – More than just a podcast, the show is a bridge that links communities throughout the African diaspora and enlightens and empowers its friends.
Black-Owned Businesses to Support
- Marcus Books – the nation’s oldest Black-owned bookstore.
- McBride Sisters Wine Collection – the largest African-American-owned wine company in the United States.
- Hope for Flowers – a responsibly designed and produced clothing line based in Detroit.
- Red Bay Coffee Roaster– one of the country’s few Black-owned specialty coffee companies.
- Alaffia – a beauty brand that focuses on fair-trade natural hair, face, and body care with products that center on a few key ingredients like shea butter, African black soap, and coconut oil, all of which are sourced from cooperatives in West Africa. Profits support the Alaffia Foundation, an organization involved in empowerment initiatives in Africa.
You can find a more extensive list of black-owned businesses here.
Where to Donate
- Color of Change – a progressive nonprofit civil rights advocacy organization formed in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to use online resources to strengthen the political voice of African Americans.
- For the Gworls – a Black, trans-led collective that curates parties to fundraise money to help Black transgender people pay for their rent, gender-affirming surgeries, smaller co-pays for medicines/doctor’s visits, and travel assistance
- Black Girls Who Code – a not-for-profit organization that focuses on providing technology education for African-American girls.
- NAACP – civil rights organization that works to disrupt inequality, dismantle racism, and accelerate change in key areas including criminal justice, health care, education, climate, and the economy.
- ACLU Foundation – America’s foremost defender of civil rights and civil liberties, including free speech, voting rights, religious freedom, racial justice, immigrants’ rights, reproductive rights, and LGBTQ rights.
- Thurgood Marshall College Fund – a non-profit organization that supports and represents nearly 300,000 students attending its 47 member schools that include public historically black colleges and universities, medical schools, and law schools.
Who Inspires Us
- Marsha P. Johnson – an activist, self-identified drag queen, performer, and survivor. She was a prominent figure in the Stonewall uprising of 1969.
- Kamala Harris – the first female vice president and the highest-ranking female official in U.S. history, as well as the first African American and first Asian American vice president.
- Barack Obama – served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. Obama was the first African-American president of the United States
- Martin Luther King Jr. – minister and legendary activist who became the most visible spokesman and leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 – to 1968.
- Maya Angelou – poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist.
- Muhammad Ali – professional boxer, activist, entertainer, poet, and philanthropist. Nicknamed The Greatest, he is widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures of the 20th century.
- James Baldwin – an activist and writer who wrote on complex social & psychological pressures of issues around masculinity, sexuality, race, and class.
- Oprah Winfrey – talk show host, television producer, actress, author, and philanthropist.
- Audre Lorde – a writer, feminist, womanist, librarian, and civil rights activist who in her own words “dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing injustices of racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia.”
- Aretha Franklin – singer, songwriter, and pianist, referred to as the “Queen of Soul.”
- Shirley Chisholm – the first black woman elected to the United States Congress.
- Virgil Abloh – American fashion designer and entrepreneur.
- Leondra Kruger – the youngest person to be appointed to the California Supreme Court and now on the shortlist for the vacant Supreme Court seat.
And so many more.
For more resources on how to celebrate Black History Month, please reach out to [email protected].