As black history month comes to a close, it is important that education on racial injustice and the black community is still being pursued past just this month.
You might be thinking, how?
Although it may be difficult for those who are not POC to understand the POC experience, there are always ways to get educated and to make sure you are doing your part to stand up to racism and to end racial injustice.
Here is a compilation of books, podcasts, black-owned businesses, movies, content creators, and campus events that encompass black history, and can allow you to show your support.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- A classic, yet portrays real-life situations where racism plays an active role in the case of a black man accused of raping a white girl, told through the eyes of a child.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
- Discusses life in Southern America in the late 19th century through a series of letters written by a partially literate black woman, dominated by a society of powerful, white men.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
- Told from the point-of-view of an African-American little girl, her only wish is to have blue eyes like the little white girls because she feels that changing her appearance will make all of the ugly things happening turn to beauty.
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- A mute girl from the south watches the racism around her play out as a normal part of growing up for her.
- “In Black America is a long-running, nationally syndicated program dedicated to all facets of the African American experience. John Hanson profiles a diverse selection of current and historically significant figures whose stories help illuminate life in Black America. Guests include civil rights leaders, educators, artists, athletes and writers describing their experiences, achievements and work in chronicling and advancing the quality of African American life.”
- “A podcast featuring women of color with very different views on Hot Topics.”
- “The award-winning radio program ‘Reveal’, produced by The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX. Hidden stories, uncovered – that’s what this show is about. It takes you deep inside stories that impact your world, revealing injustice and holding the powerful accountable. The first-of-its-kind investigative program on public radio, ‘Reveal’ is hosted by Al Letson and updated regularly.”
- Employs formerly incarcerated individuals as a way to offer them a second chance at establishing a new life. The company makes everything from honey to honey-infused skincare products like body balms and sugar scrubs.
- Founded by a mother-daughter team, Eu’Genia Shea donates 15% of the profits from sales of its pure shea butter balms for skin and hair to the female workers in Ghana who produce the ingredient. The tins are cute, portable and spill-proof, too!
- Known for its collection of skin and hair products in an array of delicious scents and textures. (P.S. The brand’s Cane and Sugar Balm is one of the Beauty Director’s all-time favorite body scrubs because it smells like warm brown sugar!)
- Just visiting the Brave + Kind website will fill you with wonder. The diverse books offered focus on early readers and young adults, but there is an adult section offering recommendations to help us all do better as human beings.
- A Black woman-owned bookstore that also has a nonprofit sector dedicated to raising literacy rates in Chicago by providing free books to Chicago Public School students. Getting students reading and an art-filled, inviting space? Count us all the way in.
CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES
- Corianna and Brianna Dotson – twin sisters who were bullied as kids so badly that they created “safety goggles” to protect them – used this idea to pursue an eyewear brand full of stylish optical eyewear and sunglasses.
- A blog that sells both sterling silver and gold necklaces to symbolize “the duality of mixed experience and reuniting different cultures and backgrounds.” Ruby Herrera and Taylor Clarkson, the co-founders of this brand, created a community to unite people with mixed identities.
- Former dancer, Erin Carpenter always felt frustrated when she went to wear tights and couldn’t find any to match her skin tone. She then created a line of her own tights, bralettes, and underwear in 13 shades.
Here are even more places to find POC-owned businesses to support!
- Starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae, this 2016 film portrays three female African-American mathematicians who worked for NASA during the Space Race.
- Available on Disney+, Amazon Prime Video
- This film, based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning play written by August Wilson, centers around a working-class African-American father who is trying to raise a family in the 1950’s amongst many other hardships.
- Available on Amazon Prime Video
- In typical Jordan Peele fashion, this movie encompasses both horror and wonder when an African-American family’s beach trip turns to chaos when their doppelgängers begin to turn their world upside-down.
- Available on Amazon Prime Video, HBO Now, YouTube
- For the animated movie lover, this Pixar film depicts an African-American middle school band teacher, who ends up in a land called “The Great Before,” where he finds his true purpose in life.
- Available on Disney+
CONTENT CREATORS TO FOLLOW
If you love fashion, beauty, aesthetics, or just want to feel inspired, these are 10 creators you NEED to follow on Instagram:
- Kia Marie @thenotoriouskia
- Asia Jackson @aasian
- Ellie @slipintostyle
- Ayanda Thabethe @ayandathabethe_
- Alyssa Forever @foreverflawlyss
- Claire Most @claire_most
- Lee Litumbe @spiritedpursuit
- Remi @remiafolabi
- Ngoni @ngoni
- Ada Oguntodu @ada_oguntodu
DUQUESNE CAMPUS EVENTS
Duquesne’s Black Student Union (BSU), and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) hosts many events that are open to anyone and everyone.
Here are a few coming up:
BSU Cinema Presents… Soul Night! – Friday February 26, 2021 6:00-8:00 p.m.
What’s The Word Wednesdays – Wednesday February 24, 2021 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Make Your Own Instrument – Monday, March 1, 2021 9:00-11:00 p.m.
The Village: Where Duquesne African American students can express their emotional needs & receive support. – Thursdays beginning March 4, 2021 6:00-7:00 p.m.
All of these events are online, and can be found on https://duq.campuslabs.com/engage/
Overall, we have a duty to educate ourselves as citizens, especially on matters that are so prevalent in our country today.
Now, get out there, and educate yo-self!