Black History Month
February's kind of a weird month. It's short and usually pretty cold. But it's also a great time to celebrate! It's Black History Month and we're celebrating together as a community.
This month's goal: learn & grow. We have the whole month to learn more from Black creators and continue to grow as individuals. And we've rounded up some seriously awesome content to help you do just that.
Beyond that, we're going to use this whole month to cast the much-deserved spotlight on Black art, Black stories, and more. This is a BIG opportunity to help our community continue to move towards greater equality and awareness.
Are you ready to get started? Here are some of our fave books, podcasts, and movies to dive into during Black History Month.
Black History Month reading recommendations
Remaking Black Power, Ashley D. Farmer
This book won a lot of awards —for good reason! It highlights the groundbreaking work of Black women activists. To do that, it features their essays and art, showing how these women engaged with the ideals of Black Power, reshaping them to make sure that they and other women got included.
Remaking Black Power shows that Black women haven't been working on the sidelines despite facing both racism and sexism. Instead, they've been tirelessly creating the best future for themselves and others.
The Well-Read Black Girl Anthology and book club
Glory Edim compiled this anthology of essays from Black women writers that's definitely worth the read. The book will expose you to a whole bunch of must-read authors, including Jesmyn Ward, Lynn Nottage, Jacqueline Woodson, Gabourey Sidibe, Morgan Jerkins, Tayari Jones, Rebecca Walker, and Barbara Smith. The focus of the book is finding ourselves in the stories we read. If you're looking for a place to dive in with Black women writers, this is it.
But why limit yourself to just a couple of books? You can also join the WRBG book club and get connected to a whole bunch more amazing Black women writers. Each month, the book club recommends one adult and one young adult pick.
Week 1 Schedule
Podcasts to listen to during Black History Month
Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and more, this podcast centers around objects that people submitted as representations of their Black experience. By examining the objects in this "people's museum" and the stories behind them, you get an accessible look at plenty of personal histories.
Black History Buff
This podcast was born when King Kurus, the podcast's creator and host, started teaching his son about his past. Lacking good resources to do this, he realized that he could create something to not just educate his own family, but the world at large. Enter: Black History Buff, which explores the roots of the African diaspora —and where those communities are today.
Our movie picks for Black History Month
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
You guys. This is on Netflix so you seriously have no excuse not to watch it!
It's set in 1927 and centers around Ma Rainey (played by Viola Davis), an influential blues singer. It's also the final movie for Chadwich Boseman, who's a total legend.
You get some amazing music and costumes, plus a really frank look at how long and hard the road has been for Black Creators.
Davis and Boseman both deliver performances that a whole bunch of critics called "powerhouse." And the film won a ton of awards, too.
I'll warn you: this movie doesn't give you some sappy, happy ending. It's worth the emotions it will call up for you, though. Ultimately, watching this movie will be an hour and a half of your time well-spent. I definitely recommend it.
If you're looking for a more uplifting watch, Hidden Figures delivers. You can rent it or watch it free if you have a Disney+ subscription.
This movie has it all. It centers around super empowered and inspiring Black women and their contributions to none other than NASA. It'll make you feel like you want to do more math, too, which is pretty crazy. It was nominated for Best Picture and won a SAG award for best cast in a motion picture. And, I mean, with Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Mon√°e, that's really no surprise!
Even if you already saw the movie when it came out a few years ago, I recommend a rewatch this Black History Month!
Overall, these are just some suggestions to get you started, girl. February is an awesome opportunity to do your own research and start educating yourself.
If you're a Black woman, this is a time to celebrate yourself and your history!
If you're not Black, join me in putting in the work this month. If we all celebrate the history of Black people who have made this country what it is today, we help ourselves move toward a brighter, more equal, more inclusive future. And I know that's something we can all get behind.
So happy Black History Month to my entire LSF community!