Honoring Black History

Since 1976, February has been designated Black History Month to recognize, publicize and celebrate the contributions to society made by African Americans. Although this month is coming to an end, we at LOF encourage you to engage with black culture and community every day of the year. The opportunities are endless and worthwhile. Engaging in and acknowledging our own racial identities is crucial to fighting racism, and we also encourage you to participate in local opportunities for conversation, such as this one in my neck of the woods.

Here are a few other ideas to inspire your journey.

Literature: Numerous lists of must-read books written by black authors are available online, including this one from Pen America and this one from Oprah’s Daily, or you can ask your local librarian to make a recommendation. I just finished reading White Women: Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism and How to do Better by the founders of Race2Dinner. It’s not an easy read, but I highly recommend it.

Film: Here again, the lists abound of must-watch movies, including those published by magazines Good Housekeeping and Women’s Health. The Woman King, Till and Wakanda Forever are three of the most recent films that I’ve added to my own list.

Museum: I was just in Washington, DC, last week and was able to make my first visit the National Museum of African American History & Culture. I had been looking forward to it, and it did not disappoint. The museum offers online resources if you’re not able to visit in person but would like to explore. Meanwhile, here is a list of African American Museums around the country.

Art: An incredibly moving new sculpture entitled The Embrace was recently unveiled in the heart of Boston to honor the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his wife Coretta Scott King. Cast in bronze by artist Hank Willis Thomas, the statue was modeled on a photo of the embrace between Dr. King and his wife following the award of his Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Open now at the Art Institute of Chicago is a fabulous black fashion, music and event photography exhibit by Kwame Brathwaite. If you’re not in the Chicago or Boston area, check out this list of not-to-be-missed modern African American artists.

Food: Thrillist compiled a list of its favorite black-owned restaurants around the country, but if you’d rather cook at home, try out recipes from Sweet Potato Soul, Fit Men Cook or Chocolate for Basil.

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