FEB 14, 2021
Black History Month
It’s Black History Month and here’s how we’re celebrating, honoring and learning this month and beyond. We hope you'll be inspired by some of these ideas.
Celebrating Black Joy
As we work to unlearn and relearn to be more inclusive, one of the most important things for us has been to read articles and see images that depict Black Joy. The idea behind this is that so many images in media are filled with trauma -- depicting brutality or marginalization against black people. One step toward healing is to look at things from another angle. In his CNN article, writer James Blake says, “There are vast regions of Black life that have nothing to do with suffering or oppression. We lead lives that are also filled with joy, romance, laughter and astonishing beauty, but those stories don't tend to grab the headlines. It's time to change that.”
Blake’s article will bring a smile to your face and give you lots of ways to view Black Joy.
Amanda Gorman interviewed by Michelle Obama for Time Magazine
Former First Lady Michelle Obama did a remote interview with Amanda Gorman, the first National Youth Poet Laureate who was recently featured on the cover of Time Magazine. Amanda read her poem "The Hill We Climb" at the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Now, she talks with Michelle Obama about the role of art in activism and the pressures Black women face in the spotlight.
Photograph by Awol Erizku for TIME
Thank You Letters
For Black History Month, Complex magazine is featuring a “Thank You” letter to a Black person every day in the month of February, including current and historical figures. The letters are written by Complex employees or artists and influencers for individuals who have impacted or inspired them.
Maurice Peebles (Editor-In-Chief of Complex) has been influenced by writer James Baldwin, only after learning about his work in the 2017 Netflix documentary about him called I Am Not Your Negro. Which led Peebles to reading more of Baldwin’s work and finding a new perspective.
Read Books with Black Female Characters
In 2015 an 11-year-old black girl, Marley Dias, told her mom that all her assigned readings had white boys as the central character. She wanted to know where she could find a list of books that had black females centered in the plot. She began a book drive to collect 1,000 books that had black women prominently featured and donate them to schools. It’s known as the #1000blackgirlbooks and The Grass Roots Community Foundation has compiled a list of hundreds of those titles, which are great for all reading levels.