Black History Month



      • Join us in celebrating Black History Month this February! Although recognizing black history is important year round, February is a good time to reflect on how far we’ve come and how far we have to go. Celebrating Black History month can take on many different forms, so here’s a list of resources to get started by listening, watching, learning and engaging with black history this February.  





      Documentary recommendations: 


          • 13th – watchable on Netflix & YouTube


                • The film begins with the idea that 25 percent of the people in the world who are incarcerated are incarcerated in the U.S. Although the U.S. has just 5% of the world’s population. “13th” charts the explosive growth in America’s prison population; in 1970, there were about 200,000 prisoners; today, the prison population is more than 2 million. The documentary touches on chattel slavery; D. W. Griffith’s film “The Birth of a Nation”; Emmett Till; the civil rights movement; the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Richard M. Nixon; and Ronald Reagan’s declaration of the war on drugs and much more. 

            • The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975 – watchable on Netflix, Peacock, YouTube, & Amazon Prime


                  • During the rise of the Black Power Movement in the 60s and 70s, Swedish Television journalists documented the unfolding cultural revolution for their audience back home, having been granted unprecedented access to prominent leaders such as Angela Davis, the SNCC’s Stokely Carmichael, and Black Panthers founders Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. Now, after more than 30 years in storage, this never-before-seen footage spanning nearly a decade of Black Power is finally available. Director Goran Hugo Olsson presents this mix tape, highlighting the key figures and events in the movement, as seen in a light completely different than the narrative of the American media at the time. Talib Kweli, Erykah Badu, Abiodun Oyewole, John Forte, and Robin Kelley are among the many important voices providing narration and commentary, adding modern perspective to this essential time capsule of African-American history. 

              • John Lewis: Good Trouble – watchable on YouTube, Google Play, & Sling TV


                    • Using interviews and rare archival footage, JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE chronicles Lewis’ 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health-care reform and immigration. Using present-day interviews with Lewis, now 79 years old, Porter explores his childhood experiences, his inspiring family and his fateful meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1957. In addition to her interviews with Lewis and his family, Porter’s primarily cinéma verité film also includes interviews with political leaders, Congressional colleagues, and other people who figure prominently in his life. 

                • I Am Not Your Negro – watchable on PBS


                      • In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, “Remember This House.” The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only 30 completed pages of this manuscript. Filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. 




                    • Historically Black – APM Reports & The Washington Post


                          • Objects hold history. They’re evocative of stories stamped in time. As part of The Washington Post’s coverage of the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture, people submitted dozens of objects that make up their own lived experiences of black history, creating a “people’s museum” of personal objects, family photos and more. The Historically Black podcast brings those objects and their stories to life through interviews, archival sound and music. 

                      • Code Switch – NPR


                            • Code Switch is the fearless conversations about race that you’ve been waiting for. Hosted by journalists of color, this podcast tackles the subject of race with empathy and humor. Code Switch explore how race affects every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, food and everything in between. This podcast makes everyone a part of the conversation — because we’re all part of the story. 

                        • Seizing Freedom – VPM


                              • Highlighting true stories of Black people’s fight for liberation, progress and joy from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement and beyond. Seizing Freedom illustrates the myriad ways Black people have sought and defined their own freedom in spite of the monumental forces at work to keep them from it. 

                          • Resistance – Gimlet


                                • Resistance is a show about refusing to accept things as they are. Stories from the front lines of the movement for Black lives, told by the generation fighting for change. Hosted by Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr. 

                            • The Humanity Archive – Jermaine Fowler


                                  • The Humanity Archive Podcast focuses on the overlooked narratives in the pages of the past. Challenging dominant perspectives, Jermaine Fowler goes outside the textbooks to find stories that are recognizably human. Connecting current issues with the heroic struggles of those who’ve come before us, he brings hidden history to light and makes it powerfully relevant. 

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