February marks Black History Month, a month-long observance in the United States and Canada that recognizes the significant contributions of African-Americans to American history, as well as the historical legacies of the African diaspora. We hope you’ll find the stories below, and the scholarship they include in full, a valuable resource for classroom or leisure reading.
October 16, 2019
Jazz, King declared, was the ability to take the “hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph.”
May 3, 2019
A century ago, the Flexner Report led to the closure of 75% of U.S. medical schools. It still explains a lot about today’s unequal access to healthcare.
May 6, 2019
Born into slavery, Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield broke barriers with every note she sang.
June 26, 2019
The first African-American recruits in the Marine Corps trained at Montford Point, eventually ending the military’s longstanding policy of racial segregation.
November 13, 2019
The Marxist sympathies of Black radical leaders like Paul Robeson, Alice Childress, and Lorraine Hansberry made them targets for the FBI.
March 14, 2019
Sometimes finding the stories of marginalized populations demands reading between the lines.
May 14, 2019
In 1919, a brutal outburst of mob violence was directed against African Americans across the United States. White, uniformed servicemen led the charge.
June 20, 2019
This non-exhaustive list of readings in African American Studies highlights the vibrant history of the discipline and introduces the field.
July 5, 2017
Tulsa, Oklahoma. 1921. A wave of racial violence destroys an affluent African-American community, seen as a threat to white-dominated American capitalism.
August 29, 2018
Adichie speaks on the meaning of blackness, sexism in Nigeria, and whether the current feminist movement leaves out black women.
February 14, 2018
“Ghana tells us that the forces of the universe are on the side of justice… An old order of colonialism, of segregation, discrimination is passing away now.”
August 22, 2018
Dorothy Porter, a Black woman pioneer in library and information science, created an archive that structured a new field.
February 1, 2016
The achievements of the Pullman Porter's Union were a significant civil rights victory for both U.S. labor and the civil liberties of African-Americans.
March 30, 2018
The first African American of either gender to publish a book of poetry has remained a controversial figure in the black community.
March 25, 2015
The 100th anniversary of Billie Holiday's birth.
February 9, 2016
In one of the earliest examples of reparations, an ex-slave named Belinda petitioned the government and was granted an annuity.
February 10, 2016
The daughter of a slave, Septima Clark graduated from college, became a teacher, and became a fierce advocate for social and cultural change.
July 5, 2016
Shirley Chisholm: the first black female U.S. Representative, first black major-party candidate for President, and the first Democratic Party woman to run.
June 17, 2016
The Emancipation Proclamation outlawing slavery in the United States passed January 1st 1863. It took over 2 years for the news to reach some enslaved people.
February 11, 2017
The founders of Women’s Studies were overwhelmingly white, and focused on the experiences of white, heterosexual women.
June 16, 2017
Square Dancing's lily-white reputation hides something unexpected: A deep African-American history that's rooted in a legacy of slavery.
September 18, 2017
While the G.I. Bill itself was progressive, much of the country still functioned under both covert and blatant segregation.
November 2, 2017
Ralph Ellison believed fiercely in the American project and in the centrality of black people to it.
We’ll be adding more stories related to Black History Month throughout February.