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Black History Month Resources


 

In honor of Black History Month, we wanted to share some of our favorite resources, tools, organizations and events to further engagement in anti-racism, active allyship, and self-education around the heritage and history of Black Americans. To learn more about our ongoing commitments to anti-racist practices, click here.

 

 


Read

 

Our self-education and personal efforts towards dismantling white supremacy include an extensive reading list. See some of our favorite books below, and be sure to find these titles at a Black-owned bookstore in your area.

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates // A compilation of eight essays by author Ta-Nehisi Coates, all published between 2008 and 2016 during Obama’s presidency. These essays -- with additional new forewords for each -- discuss topics such as reparations, mass incarceration, the long-term impact of the Civil War, Malcolm X, and our first Black president with incredible depth and perspective.

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison // The first novel by one of our favorite authors, Toni Morrison, this book -- first published in 1970 -- is the story of a young Black girl growing up in post-Great Depression era Ohio, and is a stark look at white supremacist social and beauty standards of the time.

Change Sings by Amanda Gorman // This collection by the incredible inaugural poet Amanda Gorman is available at Reparations Club -- a Black- and female-owned bookstore and creative space here in Los Angeles.

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi // A guide to beginning the process of uprooting and challenging racism as it exists within ourselves and within our society at large.

Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde // A collection of essays and speeches by intersectional writer, thinker, and activist Audre Lorde. Touching, profound, and expansive in its focus on intersectionality and its criticism of second-wave feminism for ignoring and neglecting issues of race and the experience of non-white and non-heteronormative women in America.

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin // One of James Baldwin's most seminal texts - a bold and unflinching call for racial justice.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates // A powerful meditation on race in America through a multitude of lenses, ranging from the intimately personal to the historic and political. 

The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale // A comprehensive overview of the multitude of problems presented by the institution of policing, and a compelling argument for a number of potential alternatives. Available as a free e-book via Verso Books.

Click here to find a Black-owned bookstore to order from in your state.  

 


 

Watch

 

Documentaries and art installations that will inform, illuminate, and inspire activism.

Love is the Message, the Message is Death by Arthur Jafa // Watch artist Arthur Jafa and writer Greg Tate discuss Jafa’s video art installation, Love is the Message, the Message is Death, shot by shot. 7 minutes and 30 seconds in length, Jafa’s piece creates an emotional montage of scenes of Black life in America -- representations of artists, athletes, activists, and politicians, all juxtaposed against events of horrific injustice and transcendent joy. 

Freedom Riders // This 2010 documentary by Stanley Nelson tells the story of 400 Black and white activists -- including the late leader John Lewis -- in 1961 who dared to desegregate buses and trains in the South and travel together, enduring arrests, imprisonment, and brutality.

Slavery By Another Name // A 2012 look at how the brutal conditions forced upon enslaved peoples did not end with the Emancipation Proclamation, but simply transformed to forced, free, and shockingly vicious labor under a different name.

LA 92 // A documentary centered around the 1992 protests and demonstrations in Los Angeles after the acquittal of the four white police officers who brutally beat Rodney King.

All In: The Fight for Democracy // This documentary -- by two women-identifying filmmakers -- explores the history of voter suppression, including constitutional amendments, the significance of the Voting Rights Act, and key moments in the Civil Rights Movement. A major figure in this documentary is Stacey Abrams and her fight against voter suppression tactics in Georgia -- just nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, the footage of Abrams on the gubernatorial campaign trail in 2018 and in Washington, DC as a 19-year old speaker is incredibly inspiring.

I Am Not Your Negro // Director Raoul Peck's vision of the book that James Baldwin never finished, Remember This House. A journey through the fight for civil rights across the decades, and an exploration of questions of representation and beyond.

13th // An incredible documentary by director Ava Duvernay that traces the history and inner workings of the criminal justice system, and the prison industrial complex in America. An important and gut-wrenching account of institutionalized violence and racism - we learned so much from this film. Available for free on Youtube. 

  


 

Follow

 

These are just a few of the amazing organizations that we follow, donate to, and engage with! Many host live events and opportunities for more education and active participation.

Hammonds House Museum // The Black-owned Hammonds House Museum hosts many online events for free -- including poetry readings and jazz concerts! 

The Loveland Foundation // Donate and follow The Loveland Foundation! Established by activist and writer Rachel Cargle two years ago, this foundation aims to bring mental health resources and access to therapy and support to Black women and girls.

BLM LA // Almost every week, BLM LA hosts Facebook Live events, discussing topics from the new administration and what they mean for racial justice to countering the latest rise of white supremacist groups in the US. This month, BLM is hosting daily information on Black history. 

The National Council // The National Council seeks to end the incarceration of women and girls by building coalitions and initiatives.

Showing Up for Racial Justice // With chapters all around the country, this org is working to dismantle white supremacy by enlisting those who benefit from white privilege to show up for the fight for racial justice.

Anti-Racism Daily // This account is hosting a 28-day email program for Black History Month that will include works by Black changemakers and their historical significance -- donations suggested, but it’s free for all who subscribe.

NAACP // Formed in 1909, this civil rights organization has long campaigned to advocate for and advance justice and equal rights for the Black community.

Southern Poverty Law Center // The Southern Poverty Law Center is a nonprofit legal advocacy group that monitors hate groups and battles for racial and social justice. 

 

 

 

Listen

 

Eye-opening podcasts that discuss race, history, and both the global and national politics that have a lasting impact on us all.

Floodlines by the Atlantic // An incredible podcast featuring people who lived through Hurricane Katrina and witnessed the government’s inept response to aid.

Throughline by NPR // Hosted by Ramtin Arablouei and Rund Abdelfatah, Throughline is a weekly podcast that gives a new perspective each week on a specific current or historical event.

1619 // A podcast from the New York Times that explores the profoundly transformational impacts of slavery on America, and an account of its many inheritances.

How to Be Anti-Racist, WNYC // A eye-opening conversation with Ibram X Kendi about his book, How to Be Anti-Racist. A great preview of the book, which we also highly recommend.

Code Switch // A podcast from NPR hosted by BIPOC journalists who lead challenging, honest, and enlightening conversations about race.

  

 

 

Resources for Kids

 

The Conscious Kid // A non-profit organization dedicated to offering education for parents and kids through a critical race lens. Follow @theconsciouskid on instagram for daily resources and information!

Social Justice Books // An online project that focuses on recommending and reviewing multicultural and social justice books for kids and young adults. They have great curated booklists, and we also highly recommend their super useful guide to selecting anti-bias children's books.

Sesame Street Town Hall // Van Jones and Erica Hill partnered with Sesame Street to host a town hall meeting on standing up against racism. Our kids loved it - watch the full program here.

 

 


Black Owned Businesses To Support

 

House of Aama // A mother/daughter duo clothing brand that is designed and made in Los Angeles - this top is the perfect summer piece!

Agnes Baddoo // Agnes is a good friend of ours, with whom we collaborated on our Felix Belt. Her leather goods are works of art - the Belt Sac is one of our daily go-tos.

Roam Vintage // The most beautifully curated vintage shop! We especially love the selection of perfectly faded tees and sweatshirts. 

Brother Vellies // Artisanally made, vintage-inspired shoes that we absolutely adore! Brother Vellies was founded by Aurora James, who also began the 15% Pledge.

Isatu Hyde Pottery // Architectural and elegant ceramics. We are lusting after the bread cloche for our future sourdough-making endeavors.

LOOM // Founded by our friend Erica Chidi, LOOM provides sexual and reproductive health education to empower and inform. 

Bloom & Plume // A coffee shop in Echo Park run by talented florist Maurice Harris. In addition to yummy coffee and treats, the merch section is amazing (if you are in LA or not!) - in particular we love this to-go mug.

Mahogany Books // Support independent book shops! Mahogany Books, based in Washington DC, specializes in books written for, by, or about people of the African Diaspora. 

 

 

Top image via Carrie Mae Weems


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