Black History Month is a special time set aside to commemorate the significant accomplishments of African Americans throughout the history of America. Everyday a memory of a famous person or event is celebrated, and we get to take pride in the history that is openly accepted by all Americans. In addition to reliving the past, this year I challenge us to dig a little deeper. Let’s explore our history before slavery and Jim Crow. Let’s open ourselves up to learning about the black experience from the perspective of those who share our experience.
I think it is important to expose our minds to a version of Black History that has not been white washed or sanitized to manage our emotions. The truth will always be hard and sometimes painful, but it is necessary to understand where we have been so we can understand where we are, and make the right moves to dictate where we go from here.
The Top 5 Books I recommend for all black folks regardless of geography are as follows:
- The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality by Cheikh Anta Diop
- Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of a Race from 4500 B.C. to 2000 A.D. by Chancellor Williams
- They Came Before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America (Journal of African Civilizations) by Ivan Van Sertima
- The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Dr. Frances Cress Welsing
- Black Labor, White Wealth : The Search for Power and Economic Justice by Claud Anderson
Bonus Read: Before the Mayflower: A History of the Negro in America, 1619-1962 by Lerone Bennett
My Top 5 movies/ documentaries are all thought provoking works.
Each one has a way of opening our minds and getting us to think critically about our existence in America. Although most of the works are fiction, they really to reflect the sentiment of the times and are drawn from real experiences.
During this month of reflection and preparation, be sure to focus on the positive. Try to research and find your own sources for historical information. Find something new in the black experience you are not aware of and really unpack it. Make it a family discussion to get everyone involved. One of my favorite ways to get the kids involved is through games.
My Top 5 Games for discussing black history or black culture are as follows:
- Urban Intellectuals Black History Flashcards (52 educational card deck) (Volume 1)
- Black Card Revoked 5 – Original Flavor
- Black Wall Street The Board Game
- Melanin Seeker Flash Cards – Global Black Facts and Trivia – 30 Educational Card Deck
- Africa Educational Kids Flash Cards – 54 Facts to Learn or Teach About The Continent
What are your goals for this Black History Month? Do you plan to travel? If so, consider visiting one of my Top 5 Black History Destinations. I compiled this list using the information provided in Business Insider. Each destination includes must see historical sites, dining recommendations and black owned lodging.
Virtual Visit – Washington D.C.’s Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture
Charleston, SC (My Birthplace) – https://www.businessinsider.com/us-destinations-to-learn-black-history#charleston-south-carolina-5
Let’s make this Black History Month one that is filled with purpose. Plan to learn, explore and share a history that is rich, diverse and filled with successes that should be well known. Make it a point to celebrate with vigor and be unapologetically proud of your history.
Did you find this information useful? Please let me know via the comments or on IG or FB @nlovewithjasmine.
Happy Black History Month!