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Monday, February 2, 2015

Black History Month 2015

Originally written over at The Sixth Ward in February 2014. It sums up most of my current feelings regarding Black History Month (BHM).
You know, I don't recall if there has ever been a dedicated acknowledgement of Black History Month here on this blog. The audience for this blog and the areas we hope to cover are predominantly Black and hopefully if we ever did BHM themed posts it would be appreciated.

On RAGE's FB page they asked whether or not BHM is still relevant. It's relevant in more ways than one and knowing history is very important.

I've simply come to a conclusion that Black history isn't merely reciting one-minute facts about many of the people in Black history. In addition we're also making history everyday. It's for that reason that I hope to start reading more for BHM.

There are some books on my reading list that would be considered must reads in February. For example, many of us mourned the death of South African President Nelson Mandela in 2013. How many of us has read his book The Long Walk to Freedom. While it's a book from a different country it's still a relatable story.

There is also Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave written by Frederick Douglass himself. Who here has read this book starting at least in elementary school as I did? If only I was actually willing to read back in those days. And now since it's a public domain book there's really no excuse to not read it at all!

Another book, that I started reading recently but have yet to finish is Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington. If you don't know who that is he's especially known for founding Tuskegee University, an HBCU located in Alabama. It's another autobiography worth reading about someone who was also born into slavery or at least born immediately after slavery's abolition. This book is also available in the public domain, so again no excuse to not read it.

Of course there are other books worth reading if you're into local focus. Perhaps you could read Jahmal Cole's book - The Torch of Decency - which is about Chicago's Chatham Community. There's also the late Dempsey Travis' book An Autobiography of Black Chicago & An Autobiography of Black Politics. And those aren't the only books worth reading from Dempsey Travis either.

What are you doing to mark Black History Month? Do you have any books to recommend reading for Black History Month? What would you do to make history yourself?

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