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Black History Month 

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Keeping up with NPS’s 28 days Black History calendar?

I was deeply touched by the short film “Twenty & Odd” which is a beautiful tribute to Black resistance deepened by the powerful “Still I Rise”  narrated by its author Maya Angelou. I appreciate its companion guide that reveals the symbolism and context of each scene of the film.  A must-see. 


In 1976, the celebration was expanded to a month when President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”


How could we seize these opportunities?  Where are they anyway?  By catching and listening to the stories, perspectives, and experiences of black leaders, activists, and community members, renowned or not, when they are coming your way ( with the NPS’s calendar, for example ), and invite them to your dinner table. Maybe will you talk about Marie Van Brittan Brown and her and her husband, Albert Brown, who designed the country’s first known video home security system in 1966, or about one of the Black inventors listed in The Black Inventors Hall of Fame or Bobbi Wilson,  a 9-year-old black girl honored by Yale for her actions to curb the damage caused by lanternflies, an invasive specie, to the trees in her New Jersey neighborhood or how Black women are changing TV weather


You can also invite them to your next movie night. Here are curated playlists that honor Black artists and celebrate Black heritage on the major streaming platforms. 


Invite Vicente Lutitano, a  Black Composer whose  legacy flourishes 500 years after his Birth  and relax  after a long day. 


Or to  your next book club meeting:  

Or to your kids’ next storytime or playdate: 

These invitations bring back Black intellectuals, scientists, artist, musicians, inventors and many more in our understanding  and narratives around America History. It is an act of resistance against the various attempts to erase the contributions of African Americans and to limit African Americans history and culture to slavery and colonial subjects. This act of resistance  happens at your dinner table. 

Doing it thoroughly, constantly, little-by-little,  our kids will shout loud and clear that Black History is American history knowing the actual  meaning behind these words. 

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