Celebrating Black History Month in 2021

Posted on February 1, 2021

by The Historical past Reader

Black Historical past Month was initially created half a century after the abolition of slavery with the intention to have a good time the historical past and the folks of Africa that had been deemed influential. It was not formally acknowledged till 1976 when Gerald Ford noticed the hatred that was being unfold throughout the Civil Rights Motion. Since then, it has turn into a practice for all US Presidents to have a good time this month and designate a theme. For 2021, the theme of Black Historical past Month is “Black Household: Illustration, Id, and Range.” 

This can be a notably vital 12 months to remember and knowledgeable about Black Historical past Month because of the latest occasions which have occurred within the nation. Given the rise of each violence and protests, you will need to see not simply the accomplishments of black folks, however the hardships they’ve confronted as nicely. Historical past books and literature have too typically missed the inclusion of the black neighborhood, however as Langston Hughes as soon as wrote, “I, too, am America”. Listed here are some books that can make black folks be seen, understood, and empowered.

Buses Are A Comin’: Memoir of a Freedom Rider

by Charles Particular person with Richard Rooker

Charles Particular person was the youngest of the unique Freedom Riders, as he was simply eighteen years previous. In 1961, he rode from Washington D.C. to New Orleans with the intention to convey consideration to the unconstitutional nature of public segregation. Although this didn’t finish segregation within the South, Particular person and the opposite riders’ voices have been immortalized. Particular person hopes that his younger age throughout this journey will encourage the younger folks as we speak to step up and arise for injustice, as their voices will likely be heard a technique or one other. It’s a story of resilience and perseverance within the face of injustice, and a name to motion for the folks of as we speak.

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The Burning: The Tulsa Race Bloodbath of 1921

by Tim Madigan

Madigan wrote in regards to the Tulsa Race Bloodbath again in 2001, but it surely didn’t obtain the reception he had hoped, as America was not prepared to simply accept the cruel truths that led to this horrific occasion. The context of the Bloodbath—and even the bloodbath itself—is just not frequent data and never included in historical past books, which is why Madigan takes it upon himself to teach readers on what actually occurred. It was not a singular occasion, as this was when the Jim Crow motion was gaining momentum, and being overtly racist and violent was normalized and even inspired. This can be a ebook written 80 years after the bloodbath. Since then, many steps have been made towards social equality and anti-violence. Nevertheless, as latest occasions have proven, there’s nonetheless a lot to be accomplished. The data and historic context this ebook teaches is significant for any reader to study and attempt to stop extra racially motivated killings such because the Tulsa Race Bloodbath. 

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Grace Will Lead Us Dwelling: The Charleston Church Tragedy and the Arduous, Inspiring Journey to Forgiveness

by Jennifer Berry Hawes

A newer tragedy than the opposite books on this listing, Hawes writes a really uncooked, unabridged account of the 2015 shootings on the Mom Emanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina, and its aftermath. The members of Emanuel AME believed they had been welcoming a pleasant younger white man into their Bible research, nonetheless, Dylan Roof confirmed as much as the church with one objective in thoughts: to start out a race battle. A deeply human account of grief, religion, and forgiveness, Grace Will Lead Us House is a really poignant reminder that racism may be very a lot alive in America as we speak.

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What Reality Sounds Like: RFK, James Baldwin, And Our Unfinished Dialog About Race in America

by Michael Eric Dyson

With this ebook, Dyson illustrates what went on behind the scenes within the political realm when it got here to problems with race. He writes about Robert F. Kennedy’s relationship with James Baldwin, and the way irritating their first assembly was. Baldwin introduced different African American activists with him, and Kennedy left the assembly indignant at how arduous it was to speak about racial inequality. Ultimately, RFK realized to considerably see the struggles of African Individuals, however he nonetheless believed them to be ungrateful and unpatriotic, an angle that has continued by many Individuals in the direction of as we speak’s BLM motion and different racial activists. Dyson’s ebook is an excellent show of how sure biases don’t essentially die over time. 

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Black Klansman: Race, Hate, and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime

by Ron Stallworth

Although largely referred to as the Academy Award-winning movie, Black Klansman is Ron Stallworth’s autobiographical account of his work as a black man going undercover to study in regards to the KKK. He recruits a white man to befriend the KKK in individual whereas Stallworth does all of the work over the cellphone with the intention to collect data and cease any deliberate acts of terrorism. Whereas this was throughout the peak of the KKK’s rise in America, Stallworth is miraculously capable of come out of this alive. This can be a true story of hatred and violence in a divided America, and a crafty man who is set and courageous sufficient to make a mockery of the very group that might kill him for the colour of his pores and skin. 

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Be Free Or Die: The Superb Story of Robert Smalls’ Escape from Slavery to Union Hero

by Cate Lineberry

An awe-inspiring true story that has been missed by historical past, Be Free or Die follows Robert Smalls who steals a Accomplice ship with the intention to serve the Union and emancipate himself and his household. After efficiently escaping Charleston and bringing arms to the Union troops, he was capable of stand up the ranks and turn into the primary black captain of an Military ship. This can be a liberating learn that shows the numerous struggles and achievements of African Individuals throughout the Civil Conflict.

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Bending Towards Justice: The Birmingham Church Bombing that Modified the Course of Civil Rights

by Doug Jones

In 1963, the sixteenth Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama was bombed, killing 4 women and injuring twenty-two different folks. The Ku Klux Klan was suspected to be behind it; nonetheless, because of lack of proof, the case was closed and there was no additional investigation till 1977, when one of many bombers was lastly convicted. After this, there have been continued investigations, with the ultimate two suspects convicted within the early 2000s. Jones not solely highlights the racial injustice and violence that African Individuals skilled, however he brings to mild points within the authorized system as nicely, because it took practically forty years for all of the suspects to be charged because of apathy in the direction of the case. Nonetheless, this didn’t cease folks to hunt justice for the lives that had been affected by this act of terrorism. 

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Bonus Studying!

Glory: Magical Visions of Black Magnificence

by Kahran and Regis Bethencourt

After itemizing books that examine the customarily tragic occasions that the black neighborhood has confronted all through historical past, Glory is a ebook crammed with pictures that spotlight the richness of black tradition. It embraces and empowers a historic previous, in addition to together with present-day pictures with the intention to problem what the standard notions of magnificence are. Glory isn’t just one other image ebook, because it brings to life previous, current, and future visions of black tradition. Kahran and Regis Bethencourt present a ebook filled with optimistic visibility and illustration for black folks—particularly black kids—in every single place.

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Tags: african american historical past, Black Historical past, black historical past month, Cate Linberry, Charles Particular person, Doug Jones, Jennifer Berry Hawes, Kahran and Regis Bethencourt, Michael Eric Dyson, Richard Rooker, Ron Stallworth, Tim Madigan, US historical past

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