Advocacy & News

Black History Month: Knowledge & Resources For Change

As the Black History Month series on Transatlantic Notes comes to an end, it’s critical to understand that there’s so much more that could be celebrated. Black American achievement, resiliency and the national and cultural impact they’ve had on this nation are not confined to just a few people or a small noteworthy number of events. Black history is American History and it shouldn’t be restricted to a month or be taught as an elective or seen as a sidenote.

We should all strive to be curious and continue to learn because when we do, we discover the Claudette Colvin’s, the Fannie Lou Hamer’s, the Bayard Rustin’s, the Garrett Morgan’s and the Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s of this world, for example. If you’re interested in continuing to explore Black History in a more in-depth way, then here are a few ideas to support your journey …

graphic link to an advocacy and news post on transatlantic notes called black history month knowledge & resources for change

It Starts With Knowledge …

While Black History undoubtedly deserves to showcase the voices of the past, there are some incredible authors, activists, community organizers and scholars of today that are maintaining the legacy of those trailblazers, innovators and changemakers from history. Refer to their work and take in their research and experiences that push forward the fight for equality, equity and liberation. An excellent place to start is to read works by Ibram X. Kendi (Stamped From The Beginning), Ijeoma Oluo (So You Want To Talk About Race), Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow) and Bell Hooks (Where We Stand). There are also some great resources and books available for youth via The Conscious Kid which provides valuable educational information dedicated to equity, racial identity and an awareness of critical race theory.

You can also make use of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) and the indispensable resources they provide. Originally set up by Carter G. Woodson in 1915, who founded what is now Black History Month, the ASALH continued Woodson’s vision to have historic Black American contributions become mainstream. If you’re looking for even more historical resources and materials, head on over to the National Archives where you’ll find all sorts of records and information available (these are great for school, college, university or personal projects).

A color photo by Clay Banks of the large statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. at his memorial in Washington DC.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington DC is one of the many Black History sites you can visit here in the U.S. – photo via Clay Banks

Some incredible cultural heritage sites around the USA will help you connect to Black History — you can find 50 of them listed here — and while many might be well known and well supported, there may be some in your local area that you’re unaware of. I managed to find a museum that delves into the Black History of where I live when I visited MuseumFinder (U.S. only) and scrolled through the places it found for me. Being part of a community’s future should involve relating to its past, and as we live in an era of unique communication and shareable knowledge, finding out what’s nearby to us has never been easier. No matter where you reside, you can search for something on the internet, through libraries, etc and visit different places of interest/importance. Let people know what you’ve discovered and champion the services they provide.

It Continues With Change …

Contact the Department of Education (U.S.) or find your Representatives to call for Black History to be taught nationwide at all educational levels as an evidence-based, robust, nuanced and well-resourced year-round core curriculum subject. If you’re not in America but your country has similar issues with misrepresenting and/or ignoring Black History, contacting equivalent governmental departments or officials can also be done. If you’re in the UK, for example, you can find/contact your local MP here.

A quote from Maya Angelou that reads, “The more you know of your history, the more liberated you are.”

You can also follow and donate to the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund that aims to preserve African American historic sites and the histories/people that made a significant impact on society. The fund also has various projects you can support that make sure Black History does not go misrepresented or unrecognized. It’s definitely worth checking out.

This was just a short introduction to the various available resources so I encourage you to follow the links provided throughout this article (including some extras below) and undertake your own research to learn, honour, celebrate and commemorate Black History throughout the year. If you have any other great suggestions, leave a comment.

Further Resources/Info:

Movies & TV Shows To Watch During Black History Month – The Detroit News

Teaching Students A New Black History – NPR

Why We Don’t Have A White History Month – Vox

Why Does Colonization Need To Be Taught In Schools? (UK) – Vice

Support & donate to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF), a premier legal organization fighting for racial justice.

If you enjoy reading Transatlantic Notes and would like to show your support for the work being done, please consider making a small donation. Thank you.

16 thoughts on “Black History Month: Knowledge & Resources For Change”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing all of these resources! Saved the page so I can come back for more book recommendations. You’re completely right that this shouldn’t be restricted just to a month but we should all educate ourselves in Black History and share it with others. thanks again for all the work you did, I really enjoyed reading it and learn!

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing! As an educator, your blog was such a treasure trove of valuable resources, and I bookmarked many, I think my favorite will be ‘the conscious kid’! And you are 1000% correct…Black History shouldn’t only ‘be taught’ one month a year, it should be celebrated all the time throughout the year. Great post!

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  3. Such a great post, I can tell that you really put in the research for this post. I like that you dedicated a series for black history, super needed. I pinned this so I can come back and check out the links you added to it. Great post!

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  4. Great suggestions, thank you so much for sharing! I’ve really enjoyed your content this month, it’s been so informative, so I’m sure these resources are all brilliant too x

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  5. I’ve loved reading your blog coverage of US black history month, and completely agree with so many of your points. It’s brilliant to be provided with so many additional references. Wonderful as it is to spotlight many deserving figures during this month, hopefully they will one day be integrated into year-round syllabuses too!

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    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed reading the series! I totally agree with you that this needs to be a year-round, integrated syllabus within all levels of education. I am hopeful that it will happen … but the work for it continues. Thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. There is still a lot we can do to move forward with all of the inequalities around us. First off, it is important to be educated and understand the struggles. Love that every year, Black History Month is getting bigger and bigger. Thanks for sharing all of these resources!

    Nancy ✨ mdrnminimalists.com

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    1. There is so much we all can work towards, I agree 100%! Fully seeing the issues and realities of history (and it’s impact today) will help with that. We cannot improve on things we cannot (or refuse) to see so it’s definitely encouraging that Black History is being more recognized as integral to history itself. Thanks so much for reading!

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