It’s Black History Month, a time of reflection, remembrance, and celebration. Let’s honor the past, present, and future of Black Americans. Check out our resource guide with links for watching, reading, listening, and learning.
A reminder to white readers: Black history doesn’t start February 1st and end February 28th. Black history is always in the making, and it is always our job to pay attention, pay tribute, educate ourselves, and consciously participate as allies. Take it upon yourself to share what you have learned with your white friends, family, and colleagues. Sustained anti-racism effort is essential. Approach February as an opportunity to recommit, refocus and expand your efforts to support the Black community. Stay engaged!
Here are some resources and forums to help you look after your mental health as a black person during BHM and beyond.
- Visit Mental Health America’s website (www.mhanational.org) to access their archive of essays, including:
- Therapy for Black Girls Podcast: A podcast about mental health and all things personal development.
- Couched in Color Weekly Podcast: A podcast exploring and promoting the mental health needs of youth and young adults of color.
- 13th: Ava Duvernay documents racial inequality in the U.S. prison system. Netflix.
- I Am Not Your Negro: A documentary on the life and work of writer and activist James Baldwin. Netflix. Hulu. Amazon Prime.
- Homecoming: A joyous celebration of Black art, history, and culture, Beyonce’s concert film shows us what it means to be a true visionary. Netflix.
- Paris is Burning: This 1993 documentary follows the lives and experiences of black drag queens living in New York City. iTunes.
- BlacKkKlansmen: Ok, so this isn’t a documentary, but it is based on a true story. Directed by Spike Lee, John David Washington and Adam Driver go undercover to infiltrate and expose the KKK in 1970s Colorado. Hulu.
- 1619: A New York Times pod that examines the lasting effects of slavery on the United States and its people.
- About Race with Reni Eddi-Lodge: Pull up a chair and listen to British journalist Reni and her guests discuss the tough stuff.
- Historically Black: This podcast creates a “people’s museum” by using personal objects to bring the stories of Black Americans to life.
- Citizen: An American Lyric, Claudia Rankine: This collection of poetic essays speaks to the lived experience of Black Americans in the 21st century.
- The Yellow House, Sarah Broom: Broom’s beautiful memoir, set in New Orleans, explores family, race, identity, and the true meaning of home.
- The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander: An extremely important read that breaks down the racism rampant in the criminal justice system.
- The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin: Baldwin’s acclaimed essay collection on race in America.
- Jefferson School African American Heritage Center: The Jefferson School is an incredible local resource. Check out their website for events and exhibitions—entry is free! Learn about Charlottesville’s past by visiting their permanent exhibition on the history of the African American community at Vinegar Hill. www.jeffschoolheritagecenter.org
- Black History Museum: BHMVA, located in Richmond, Virginia, preserves and honors the rich history of African American life and culture. www.blackhistorymuseum.org
- National Museum of African American History & Culture: Located in Washington, D.C. this museum documents the expansive contributions and experiences of Black Americans. Due to Covid-19, it is temporarily closed. However, the website is full of interactive online exhibitions, photo galleries, and fascinating articles. www.nmaahc.si.edu
- Hair Love: This Academy award-winning animated short tells the story of a father learning to do his daughter’s hair for the first time. Watch for free on youtube (For ages 2-200).
- Dream Big, Little One: A board book adaptation of Vashti Harrison’s Little Leaders for toddlers features 18 trailblazing Black American women (3 months to 3 years).
- One Million Men and Me: Kelly Starling Lyon’s illustrated story of the 1995 Million Man March, told through a child’s eyes, highlights the efforts of Black men to empower others and create positive change (For ages 5-7).
- Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History/Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History: Vashti Harrison’s beautifully illustrated series spotlights exceptional men and women in Black history (For ages 8-12).
- Brown Girl Dreaming: Written in verse, this lovely YA novel recounts the author Jacqueline Woodson’s childhood in 1960s America (For ages 12+).
- The Hate U Give: Follow 16-year-old Starr Carter as she navigates injustice and the weight of systemic racism in this compelling young adult novel by Angie Thomas (For ages 14+).