There’s so much about Black History Month that can feel artificial. Every February it comes around. It comes around and then passes. However, if you really want to celebrate Black History Month, consider reading one of the following books or watching one of these films . . .
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It’s a poignant, personal telling of a young black man’s experience. This book won the National Book Award last year. It’s a beautiful book. I loved it. If you’ve not read it, I highly recommend it.
The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander. Ms. Alexander is a marvelous poet, but this is her autobiographical reflection on a marriage, the death of her husband, and what it means to find meaning as an African American woman. Terrific book!
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson. I just finished reading Dyson’s book. It was searing, stunning and powerful. It helped me understand race in America as much as any book I’ve read. Get it! Read it!
And if you don’t want to read a book, consider watching the following . . .
13th directed by the talented Ava DuVernay. (We’re showing this film at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles on February 23, 7:00 pm).
I Am Not Your Negro directed by Raoul Peck features the brilliant, insightful thinking of the late Jame Baldwin. This is an important film.
If you’re interested in something a little lighter, go see Hidden Figures. It doesn’t capture the gritty reality of the Civil Rights Movement, but it tells an important (and inspiring) story.
Fences starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis is a fascinating, dialogue driven drama. The performance by the entire cast is wonderful. It’s heavy but worth it.
Moonlight is the little movie that could. Although small in budget, it packs a huge wallop of social and racial awareness. Might just win an Oscar this Sunday.
Here’s a suggestion: Take a Breath today. If you want to honor Black History Month, then do something really radical like appreciating black culture. It’s still February. It’s not too late. It’s never too late.