BHM: Prepare for Black History Month


Graphic by Mya Cummins.

Ofelia Mattingly

February is a month to bring awareness to Black people’s struggles throughout the centuries. When preparing for Black History Month, researching why it is a national holiday is a good place to start. The best way to research is to find websites and read about the importance. Some helpful websites include: Black History by History, The Importance of Black History Month by NMAAHC, and The Importance of Black History and why it should be celebrated beyond February by abc NEWS, but there are numerous other stories that will explain why Black History Month is important to not only the United States, but in the world. 

Reading books is another way to research the importance of Black History Month. Books provide a different perspective in the struggles Black people have faced throughout time because it gives people different takes of how difficult it was for Black people to live through slavery and the Civil Rights Movement from a person who experienced these events. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl published in 1861 is an autobiography by Harriet Jacobs who was a mother and fugitive slave that explains her struggles of being a female slave and having to deal with racism and sexual abuse. Reading this book gives an understanding of why Black history needs to be taken seriously and shows how hard it was for Black people to live during these times. The Autobiography of Malcolm X published in 1965 provides another perspective, this time during the Civil Rights Movement a few decades ago. This autobiography explains the life of Malcolm X, formerly named Malcolm Little, from when he was a child and how he became a civil rights activist. This autobiography was published after his assassination and co-author Alex Haley continued to finish the autobiography. More books to read can be found in Five books to read during Black History Month. 

Watching movies is another way to have a better understanding of Black History Month. Panther is a movie about the Black Panther Party who were labeled as domestic terrorists because they would fight for their rights using the law since Black people were not treated equally. I recommend this movie because many people do not know of the Black Panther Party and the activists included in this party such as Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, Angela Davis and more.

Judas and the Black Messiah is another movie about the Black Panther Party given in the perspective of Fred Hampton and FBI informant William O’Neal’s betrayal. This movie is set to be released in theaters on February 12, 2021 and the trailer can be found here

More movies to watch can be found in 10 classic movies to watch to celebrate black history.

There are many ways to research about the importance of Black history and why we celebrate it. Knowing more about Black history will allow you to not be ignorant on matters seen in Black communities and give you an understanding on why some of these matters are not constitutional. To help bring more awareness to these problems, advocating is the first step to take.