The ABCs of Black History

Posted on February 1, 2021

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I really like Alphabet Books. Because of my love for ABC books, and because February has 28 days, I’ve chosen to use this genre for my Black History calendar 2021. 

I’ve created a calendar as an offering of resources to learn and celebrate Black History.

Starting tomorrow, each day this month will introduce readers to Black artists, scholars, creators, concepts, and organizations from various fields that have informed and enriched my life, as well as songs, poems, and art that inspire me. 

The Black thinkers may have made Black history in the past; they may be making Black history now. Many of them are my own teachers, from my time as an outdoor educator, university student, or high school teacher. The people, ideas, and organizations that appear in this calendar are people I respect and admire, and I’m so happy for you to meet them!

I love Black history, because I love human history. I’m happy to share my love for Black history with you. Explore and enjoy, dear Reader. Happy Black History month!

2 February

A

Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi

Dr. April Baker-Bell Associate Professor @michiganstateu Author of Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy | Co-Founder of http://BlackLanguageSyllabus.com

African-American READ-In

Amanda Gorman, Inaugural Poet to President Joe Biden @ TED

Afro-futurism


3 February

B

bell hooks
The bell hooks Institute celebrates and documents the life and work of acclaimed intellectual, feminist theorist, cultural critic, and writer bell hooks.

Bayard Rustin, openly gay civil rights leader, organizer of the 1963 March on Washington

Bboys Dancing

Black Art in America

POTUS Biden’s Plan for Racial Equity

“Black Man” by Stevie Wonder w/ historic photos

James Brown “Say It Loud! I’m Black and I’m Proud”


4 February

C

The Crisis, official publication of the NAACP; “Speaking truth to power since 1910”

ChuckModi Justice Journalist. Sports Writer @deadspin “Kaepernick is still free agent. Collusion is still a crime.” 

Camara Jones Family physician, epidemiologist, anti-racism activist, Past President of the American Public Health Association

“Colors” by the Black Pumas

Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers “Jumpin Jive”


5 February

D

Data for Black Lives We are a movement of scientists and activists. Data as protest. Data as accountability. Data as collective action.

Decolonize Death w/ The Collective for Radical Death Studies

Dirty Computer [Emotion Picture] by Janelle Monae

Aaron Douglas, artist

Digable Planets “Black Ego”

William DeVaughn, “Be Thankful for What You Got”


6 February

E

Educators
Bettina Love, Professor Co-founder of ATN. Author of We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching

Cornelius Minor
He/HimDad. Warrior-nerd for the cause of powerful education. Video game, HipHop polymath. Book lion. Bringing pens to swordfights since 1978. #EduColor

Ed Love, jazz dj on WDET

Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday, “Symphony In Black – A Rhapsody of Negro Life” (1935)

“Everyday People” by Sly and the Family Stone

“The Earth Is A Living Thing” by Lucille Clifton

EMU Virtual Black History Events 2021


7 February

F

A Family Is A Family” by Sweet Honey In the Rock

The Talk About Police

Fannie Lou Hamer, Freedom Fighter 

Brenda Flanagan, writer, “The Crossing,” on the election of President Obama

Feminist Giant.com Newsletter by Mona Eltahawy

Ella Fitzgerald w/ epic scat singing “How High the Moon

FUNK bassist, Larry Graham

American French in Cajun/Creole South ”Tu Seras Avec Moi” by Cedric Watson

Aretha Franklin, “Rock Steady”


8 February

G

Girls:Naomi Wadler, 13 year-old girl • Activist • Changing the narrative around girls of color. Girlhood exhibit at National Museum of American History

Making Gay History: Barbara Smith

BGirl Champion Dancing

The Great Migration and the power of a single decision by Isabel Wilkerson

Good Ancestor podcast w/ Layla Saad

Georges Collinet, host of Afropop Worldwide

“Green Onions” by Booker T and the MGs

“Goree” by Marcus Miller

The Gospel Highway & Sam Cooke


9 February

H

Opening Our Hearts Through Writing — Celebrating African American Women Poets with EMU professor of Africology Toni Pressley-Sanon on Saturday, February 13, 2021, at 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Register for the workshop at YpsiWrites.com

Lena Horne’s “Stormy Weather”

Hellzapoppin: Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers

Harlem Renaissance 

To Be Young, Gifted and Black, starring Ruby Dee, inspired by the work of the late Lorraine Hansberry, playwright of A Raisin In The Sun 

“To Be Young, Gifted and Black” by Nina Simone

Racial Covenants as Housing Discrimination in Jim Crow of the North 

HipHop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes by Byron Hurt

How HipHop Influenced Jazz

Ben Harper, “I’ll Rise,” based on Maya Angelou’s poem, “Still I Rise”


10 February

I

Ibram X. Kendi: How To Be An Antiracist

Isabel Wilkerson, author of Caste and The Warmth of Other Suns

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

“The Artist’s Struggle for His Integrity” by James Baldwin

Ismael Ahmed, host of This Island Earth on WDET


11 February

J


Justice For Greenwood: Committed to justice for the descendants of survivors of Tulsa’s 1921 Race Massacre.

Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, authors of Stamped:Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix

William H. Johnson

Astronaut Mae Jemison: Teach Arts & Sciences Together (STEAM, not STEM)

Detroit Jazz Festival

“Jou Nou Revolte” by Boukman Eksperyans (Haiti)

Jay Butler, host of Jay’s Place on WDET

Michael Jewett, jazz dj on WEMU

“JC on the Set” by James Carter


12 February

K

Lost Kingdoms of Africa series: Nubia, Ethiopia, Great Zimbabwe, West Africa, Kingdom of  Asante, Zulu, Berber, Uganda

Kwame Alexander, poet, educator, and the New York Times Bestselling author of 32 books

Kaffir Boy SA Author, Mark Mathabane

7 Principles of Kwanzaa

Knowledge: 100 Facts About Africa by Robin Walker

“I’ve Got a Girl in Kalamazoo”


13 February

L

Latino AND Black in USA

La’Ron Williams, storyteller

Black Love Stories

The Legacy of Lynching & Now

BLM for Global Liberation 

Language: Victor Wooten on the Language of Music

“Little Wing” by Jimi Hendrix

“Lift Every Voice and Sing” sung by Kim Weston at 1972 Watts Stax benefit concert


14 February

M

Ma Rainey, Mother of the Blues

The Mother of Modern Music: The Blues


MI Legislative Black Caucus

BLM MI 

MOVE: Black liberation group bombed by police in Philly 

Ernest Morell, Coyle Professor in @ArtsLettersND at @NotreDame. Director, ND Center for Literacy Education @CLEatND

Muhammad Ali: Wake Up & Apologize 


Curtis Mayfield, “People Get Ready”


15 February

N

NAACP Natl

NAACP Lenawee

Black Nature: 400 Yrs of AA Nature Poetry

The Nicholas Brothers Story

Neil DeGrasse Tyson “The Most Astounding Fact” (physics)

NASA’s Human Computers

Nicodemus, KS

New Orleans Bounce w/ Big Freedia

Nick Austin, host of Soul Saturday on WDET


16 February

O

One (Hu)Man, One Vote” by Johnny Clegg and Savuka

“The Other America” MLK Jr’s 1967 speech

Ornithologist, J. Drew Lanham, he/him/him, Black man wildly wandering. Watching. Wondering. Pondering. Hunting & gathering words. #blackbirder #wildandincolor #coloringconservation OnBeing Interview

Outdoor Afro

“Om Nia Merican” by Saul William


17 February

P

PBS Series Premier: The Black Church

Black Power in 2 minutes

The Black Panthers: Ten-Point Program

Angela Davis on Abolishing Prisons

Prison: The Curtis Flowers Case

Pilots: Tuskeegee Airmen

Policing: Jinho’s Journey. A hip hop artist from Oakland leaves his mic behind to join the police dept

Columnist, Leonard Pitts

The Progressive Underground on WDET hosted by Chris Campbell 

Producer: Coxsone Dodd

Peter Gabriel’s “Biko” Playing For Change 40th Anniversary Re-release


18 February

Q

Quicksand by Nella Larsen

The Real Quiet Storm by James Carter


Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars” by Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto


19 February

R

Reconstruction: America After the Civil War

Red Summer of 1919

“Respect Yourself” by The Staple Singers

Brown Girl READING

Reni Eddo-Lodge, She/her, Author of the triple award winning WHY I’M NO LONGER TALKING TO WHITE PEOPLE ABOUT RACE. 

Reel Black: Black Film on Youtube

Paul Robeson: A Supreme Symbol of Hope


Rasta Rebels of Reggae

“Rough Side of the Mountain” by F.C. Barnes & Co


20 February

S

Ntozake Shange, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf

Africanfuturist Science Fiction

Afrofuturism, Africanfuturism, and Black Speculative Fiction

100 Black Scientists

Soul Deep Series

Stax Records BBC documentary

“The Star Spangled Banner” by Jimi Hendrix

Esperanza Spalding “Black Gold” 

John Sinclair’s “That Delta Sound”

“Spiritual” by Sweet Honey in the Rock


21 February

T

Tiffany Cross, Host @MSNBC‘s @CrossConnection, Author: Say It Louder! Black Voters, White Narratives & Saving Our Democracy 

Tera Hunter, Professor of History & African American Studies. Author of BOUND IN WEDLOCK: SLAVE AND FREE BLACK MARRIAGE IN THE 19th CENTURY (Harvard U Press)

Cicely Tyson, actor 

Sojourner TRUTH’s speech

This Land Is Our Land

“To Say the Least, You’re the Most” by Tower of Power


22 February

U

Urban Policy:Darrick Hamilton, Henry Cohen Professor of Economics and Urban Policy and University Professor; Director, Institute on Race and Political Economy

United, We’re Not” Reveal podcast, hosted by Al Letson

“The Uprising”, with Rosa Blakley, who was in Detroit in 1967

Leslie Uggams in Black Girl

African Dance in United Kingdom  @ Chop Daily


23 February

V

Sarah Vaughn “My Funny Valentine”


24 February

W

Wanda Sykes @ WHC Dinner 2009

August Wilson, playwright of 10 plays on Black life in the 20th century, including  The Piano Lesson, Fences, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Alice Walker, novelist, short story writer, poet, and activist

How Black Atheist Women Take on Religion

Wattstax documentary

Seeing White” podcast series on the history of race in USA

Writer for In Living Color, Larry WilmoreBlack History Man,”

Robin Walker’s speech, “Black Wall Street” (Tulsa, OK)


25 February

X

Malcolm X on Police Brutality

Malcolm X’x Daughter Is Carrying on His Legacy


26 February

Y

Yohuru Williams @ YohuruWilliams, Director of Racial Justice Initiative at University of St. Thomas

Yaa Gyasi’s novel, Transcendent Kingdom, makes the longlist for the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

Yoga w/ Jesamyn Stanley on Juneteenth

Young, Gifted, and Black children’s book by Jamila Wilson

“Ya’ll Get Back Now” by Big Freedia


27 February

Z

Zora Neale Hurston; ZNH@Natl Women’s History Museum

Zzzzzzeezus in Hibernation @zfelice ,Writer and Black southern cultural worker. Zora-type ethnographer.

Photographer James Van Der Zee; Photos

Author, Ibi Zoboi

“Cedric Zydeco”  by Cedric Watson

TK Soul “Zydeco Bounce” 

Zydeco in Houston

28 February

Thanks for coming! I hope you’ve enjoyed the media I’ve shared this month.

As February comes to a close, I hope your pursuit of Black History continues, 365 days per year. Black History is American History.

#BlackLivesMatter


lisa eddy is a writer and editor for-hire, researcher, educator-for-hire, youth advocate,  musician, and gardener.

On Twitter: @lisa_eddy
On email: lisagay.eddy1@gmail.com