February is Black History Month, an annual celebration of achievements by Black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. History. It is also a time to reflect on the important work we all must keep doing to achieve equity and social justice.
We have assembled a shortlist of resources and opportunities to participate in throughout Black History Month and beyond and we hope you find these valuable as we work together in continued reflection and conversation.
THINGS TO DO (in Maine and Virtually):
- Explore the Portland Freedom Trail
- 9 Ways to Learn About Black History in Maine
- Black Moses, the Staged Play Feb 11 at Merrill Auditorium (for adults)
- Learn About 5 African-American artists
- Watch a Black History Month video
- Read a Black History Month poem
- Learn about Stepping: a form of dancing in which the body itself is used to create unique rhythms and sounds.
- How much do you know about Black contributions to space exploration? Rent the film Hidden Figures
- Support local Black-owned businesses in Maine and learn why that's important
- Visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture Searchable Virtual Museum
- Watch something on TV: Most streaming services allow black voices to be heard and seen. In HBO Max, this is called “Black Voices.” For Hulu, it’s under “Black Stories.” On Disney+, they have a section to “Celebrate Black Stories.”
THINGS TO READ (for Kids):
- I am Every Good Thing – Derrick Barnes; illustrated by Gordon C. James
- Black Boy Joy – edited by Kwame Mbalia; stories by B.B. Alston [and 16 others]
- Black is a Rainbow Color – written by Angela Joy ; illustrated by Ekua Holmes
- Let's Clap, Jump, Sing, & Shout; Dance, Spin, & Turn it Out! : Games, Songs, & Stories from an African American Childhood – collected by Patricia C. McKissack ; illustrated by Brian Pinkney
- We Shall Overcome : the Story of a Song –written by Debbie Levy ; illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
THINGS TO READ (For Adults):
- Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption – Bryan Stevenson
- Now Is the Time to Offer Solidarity and Support to Young People of Color – The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring
- Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America – Ibram Kendi