February 2023 - Black History Month Resources

Nine ways to celebrate Black History Month in 2023

  • The story of Black History Month 
  • Visit a Black or African American history museum ...
  • Learn about Black music history by listening online ...
  • Support Black-owned businesses and restaurants ...
  • Donate to Black organizations and charities ...
  • Attend local Black History Month events ...
  • Watch Black history documentaries and movies ...
  • Find Black authors and stories for yourself and your children 

Learn About Black History
Celebrate Black History Month 2023 | National Museum of African American History and Culture (si.edu)
Black History Month 2023: Facts, Origins & More | HISTORY - HISTORY
Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery (maahmg.org)

(The list below is a partial list taken from MAPE.org website.)
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead. Based on the real life Dozier School for Boys, a reform school in Florida, this 2019 novel focuses on a young man’s experience at the school during the 1960s Jim Crow era. It’s a gripping story, examining the horrific events that happened at this school that were driven by racism and a broken justice system, while also lifting up the inspiring perseverance of the survivors of the school
Black Birds in the Sky | The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by Brandy Colbert.
The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Worldly Things by Michael Kleber-Diggs
The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones.
The Broken Earth series by N.K. Jemisin. This is the series that won Jemisin the first-ever three-peat of the Hugo Award, sci-fi and fantasy’s most prestigious prize. You can watch an insightful 2020 interview between Jemisin and her cousin, W. Kamau Bell here.

Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing – Stanford Talisman Alumni Virtual Choir

Our Native Daughters – Songs Of Our Native Daughters (Album) - A group of four banjo players - Amythyst Kiah, Allison Russell, Leyla McCalla, and Rhiannon Giddens- create the collective of Our Native Daughters and recorded this album in 2019. The songs take up issues facing Black women in the U.S. historically and currently, including slavery, colonialism, racism, and sexism. The lyrics are compelling and the music and singing is just really, really beautiful.

Eric B. & Rakim – Microphone Fiend – Rakim is often described as “your favorite MC’s favorite MC.” He wrote the album Paid in Full when he was a high school senior. Microphone Fiend / Paid in Full are the album’s most iconic tracks.

Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing) – “My favorite Lauryn Hill song. Is Lauryn Hill hip-hop’s greatest lyricist? Is she R&B’s greatest vocalist? Some think both.”

Public Enemy – Fight The Power – “Self-explanatory.”

Nas – If I Ruled The World – This duet with Lauryn Hill is safe for all audiences, but it is Nas’ debut Illmatic that is considered by many to be the greatest hip-hop album of all-time. It was inducted into the Library of Congress in 2020.

Video and Film
Rondo: Beyond the Pavement (documentary). High school student filmmakers and community mentors in St. Paul, Minnesota came together in 2018 to make a documentary about the rich history of the Rondo neighborhood in St. Paul. The documentary tells the story of the vibrant, largely African American community of Rondo and how it was torn apart by the creation of I-94 in the 1950s. The film features interviews with past and present residents of Rondo, exploring the ways in which the community has rebuilt and the obstacles still facing it today.

“One the movies that matters to us in our home is Hidden Figures. It is such a powerful movie that tells the truth of black women and their importance in the development in the space race.”

What Happened, Miss Simone? also currently on Netflix.
I Am Not Your Negro also currently on Netflix.
The Photograph
Girls Trip
Last Holiday
Poetic Justice
Sylvie’s Love
Black Panther
When They See Us Four-part Netflix series by Ava DuVernay about the wrongful incarceration and ultimate exoneration of the “Central Park Five.”

13th documentary by Ava DuVernay that looks at how the country's history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America. (90 minutes)
The Doll Test experiment shows how early ideas of racial inferiority and superiority are internalized by American children. (9 minutes)
How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them TED Talk by Vernā Myers, encourages work vigorously to counter balance bias by connecting with and learning about and from the groups we fear. (19 minutes)
Facing Ali You can’t go wrong with nearly any documentary about Muhammad Ali. Hear from the men who faced him in the ring.
Eyes on the Prize The award-winning PBS series about the American Civil Rights Movement.
Sorry To Bother You  Sorry to Bother You has modern workplace issues and union organizing in it, it also has fantastic music, comedy and a very fascinating sci-fi twist. Boots Riley is an amazing talent and the fact this movie hit the mainstream is amazing.
At The River I Stand  “This moving documentary recounts the two months leading to Martin Luther King Jr.'s death in 1968, coinciding with the 65-day strike of 1300 Memphis sanitation workers.”

Television / Miniseries
7 Seconds on Netflix.
Dear White People on Netflix.
Pose on Netflix.
Watchmen on HBO.
This is Us (Randall’s storyline)
Living Single (old but gold)
Girlfriends (old but gold)

Code Switch – Episode “Un-Holy Land” focuses on MN.
Ear Hustle
Sooo Many White Guys
2 Dope Queens
White Lies
In The Dark – Season 2
There Goes The Neighborhood
Trill Moms

Kehinde Wiley (painter). Based in New York City, Kehinde is an incredible portrait painter whose work has been described as “heroic portraits which address the image and status of young African-American men in contemporary culture” (The Columbus Museum of Art). Kehinde does some really thought-provoking and visually stunning work that reimagines the Old Masters with Black Protagonists.

Augusta Savage (sculptor). Augusta was a sculptor and part of the Harlem Renaissance. Her moving work was praised for showcasing African American features in a caring and more humane way, rather than succumbing to the stereotypes often portrayed in other sculpture of the time. Nearly forgotten at the time of her death in 1962, Augusta is now being recognized for her talents as an artist, activist, and arts educator, and was recently profiled in the New York Times.

Also check out the Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery!

For The Kiddos / Youth / Family

Early Risers Podcast (MPR) – “George Floyd’s death was a tragedy and a wakeup call — expanding a global conversation about race and racism. And young children have been watching it all. So how do we help them make sense of this? Early Risers is podcast from Little Moments Count and MPR with frank facts, engaging stories and real how-tos for anyone who cares about raising children with a clear-eyed understanding of cultural differences, race and implicit bias. Hosted by Dianne Haulcy of Think Small.”

Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum
Super Sema
Motown Magic on Netflix
Karma’s World on Netflix
The Proud Family on Disney+
Sister, Sister on Netflix
Family Reunion on Netflix
Raising Dion on Netflix
Soul (Disney+)
Queen of Katwe (Disney+)
Jump In! (Disney+)
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

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