Every year in the month of February, people come together to celebrate Black History Month. This is the time where we recognize the groundbreakers that came before who opened doors for millions of black people across the world. We remember the likes of Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, and so many more. Of course, it is important to remember that history is not just in the past. It is all around us and always forming; it is what we create today. Because of that, we also celebrate black people who never held a position of power, who have mental illness, those who never went to college, and ones with disabilities. It is a time to acknowledge their experience because all of their voices matter.
We have dedicated months, like Black History Month, to certain groups of people because they have historically been treated differently. They have been discriminated against purely for being what they cannot change, themselves. When these months come along, we are reminded that we need to constantly strive for equality. This is why we must educate ourselves on their experiences. Take a couple of minutes to educate yourself on the hardships black people have faced. Take a moment to learn, respect, and celebrate black culture. To learn more about the black experience please visit this website.
As Black History Month continues throughout the rest of February, consider supporting black voices. One of the most beautiful things about reading is the ability to see things from someone else’s perspective, and my hope in sharing this list of book recommendations with you is that you will be able to listen to the stories of black people who came before, and those of now, and learn more about the black experience. To take their stories and expand your worldview, so we can begin to understand better because we can do better.
- Twice as Less (Eleanor Wilson Orr)
- Who Owns the Icehouse? (Gary G. Schoeniger)
- The New Jim Crow (Michelle Alexander)
- Long Time Coming (Michael Eric Dyson)
- Before the Mayflower (Lerone Bennett)
- Race Matters (Cornell West)
- The Life and Works of Paul Laurence Dunbar (Paul Laurence Dunbar)
- That is my dream! (Langston Hughes)