FEBRUARY 2020 NEWSLETTER

Celebrating the Everyday Legacy of
Black History Month

Preserving sacred memories, honoring cultural values, and inspiring community animated the work of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who in 1926 created Negro History Week, the precursor to Black History Month. Some 10 years prior, Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and Culture, an organization devoted to disseminating information about Black life, history, and culture to the global community. By establishing these two institutions, Dr. Woodson left a clear footprint along the pathway of Black self-regard. During the month of February, Black communities are primed to stand just a bit taller inside both of those footprints, institutions established to convey legacy—every day.

The institutional legacy of Black History Month is what makes the choice of speaker for the 2020 Association for the Study of African American Life and History annual luncheon so appropriate. Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the National African American Museum of History and Culture, will stand before luncheon participants as a principal catalyst in the long quest to build a national African American history museum in the United States. By embracing this mission and standing on the shoulders of Woodson and many others, Bunch has helped to construct institutional continuity, to
protect legacy. Click on the link below to discover why Bunch believes knowledge of Black history can renew our sense of community—every day, at his critical time in our history. And enjoy the second bonus link to a video on the life and LEGACY of Dr. Carter G. Woodson.

2020 February Newsletter, History and Culture

The Carter G. Woodson
African American Museum in Florida

Did you know that a museum in St. Petersburg, Florida was named after the great Dr. Carter G. Woodson? Widely saluted each February for creating Negro History Week – that evolved into Black History Month – Dr. Woodson is also lauded for his seminal book, The Mis-Education of the Negro, for founding the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, and the Journal of Negro History.
 
Established in 2006, the museum honors Woodson and his tremendous legacy by showcasing the historical contributions of Black people in Petersburg. It has rapidly become a tourist destination because of its focus on the role African Americans have played since the 1800s, when Petersburg was a burgeoning railroad town.
 
By bearing the name Carter G. Woodson, the museum’s very existence furthers the Woodson legacy and commitment to telling complete and truthful history. You can click below to learn more about the museum’s programs, exhibits, and upcoming events.

2020 February Newsletter, Present Day Achievment

The Expansive Nature of Black History: Celebrating Achievements of Our Afro-Latino Family

Being introduced to new and different members of your family can be as exciting as it is expansive.That’s exactly what makes this article about eight amazing Afro-Latino achievers a refreshing glimpse into how often lesser-known members of the African Diaspora clan achieve and excel beyond measure. They represent a span of talents and expertise that people young and old may be inspired to emulate. Each of the eight persons featured is a vibrant reminder that Black excellence comes in different languages, locations, and cultural contexts.
 
Continue reading and meet: Miriam Jimenez Roman, author of the seminal book, The Afro-Latin Reader: History and Culture in the United States; celebrated poet and novelist Piri Thomas, author of the urban classic, Down These Mean Streets; Jose Celso Barbosa, who made history three ways – as a doctor, politician and publisher; Gwen Ifill, who was a trailblazing hero to Black women journalists; Sylvia del Villard, the courageous dancer, actress and activist who founded the influential Afro-Boricua El Coqui Theater; Felipe Luciano, a Young Lords Party leader, member of the Original Last Poets and TV, broadcast and print journalist; Julia Constanza Burgos Garcia, the journalist, activist and feminist who was also a lyrical poet, and historian Arturo Schomburg, founder of what is today the internationally renowned Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Click below to explore the contributions of just a few of many Afro-Latinos who are distinguished members of the African Diaspora family.

2020 February Newsletter, Present Day Achievment

Black History Subscription Boxes for Children

Because Of Them We Can (BOTWC) took the internet by storm several years ago when Eunique Jones Gibson posted pictures of children dressed up as Black history heroes, sheroes, and contemporary icons. Children adorned as great Black achievers radiated a beauty and joy that attracted many admirers. As more and more photos were requested, the demand compelled Jones Gibson to offer a children’s Black history learning kit that included dress-up props. The BOTWC learning box encourages youth to have big fun while encountering their own great history. It comes complete with educational information for parents wanting to support their child’s process of learning about Black achievers while dressing the part.

The subscription service includes costumes, toys, books, posters and more.  The poet Langston Hughes, aviator Bessie Colman, and astronaut Mae Jemison are three of the many featured heroes. Additionally, each box arrives with a reminder of the BOTWC pledge: “I will honor the sacrifices of my ancestors. I will believe in me. I will pursue my dreams. I will help others
along the way.” Click below to learn how you might add a monthly dose of fun, knowledge, and esteem to the life of a child.

2020 February Newsletter, Present Day Achievment

 

A Chicago Suburb to Pay Reparations to
Black Residents

Evanston, Illinois became the first city in the United States to pass a law paying reparations to its Black citizens. It’s doing so by taxing the sale of legal marijuana in the area to the tune of $10 million over 10 years to aid community members. The law was proposed by the city’s Fifth Ward alderman Robin Rue Simmons, citing the deleterious effects of the war on drugs, including the disproportionate marijuana convictions imposed on the Black community. Not only will monies be used to assist area residents
victimized by unjust sentencing structures, but others as well. Some redress will be afforded those adversely impacted by banks, gentrification, rabid redlining and a crisis of rushed foreclosures that pushed many residents out of their homes.
 
Evanston has a history of progressive legislating. In response to Ta-Nehesi Coates 2014 essay on reparations, the city launched a study on reparations options and added a social equity clause when the city voted to legalize recreational marijuana last summer. Read on to learn more about the innovative approaches the city plans to adopt to make reparation benefits a reality for Black residents. Glean what is possible when brilliant public servants act on behalf of the people.

2020 February Newsletter, Youth and Community

Cars Manufactured in Africa by and for Africans

A renewed commitment to economic self-sufficiency in Africa is the driving force behind the unprecedented production of six new cars made in Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, and Kenya. While Africans, like people all over the world, buy cars in great numbers, the cars they owned were exclusively imported from outside of the continent, directing African dollars into foreign economies.

Now, astute African entrepreneurs are creating African-manufactured automobile options. From sleek and stylish to compact, rugged, and SUV’s, these automobiles are designed to be better suited to African environments and terrains. Click below to learn about an assortment of African manufactured vehicles, including the wind-and-solar-powered car made in Nigeria.

2020 February Newsletter, Present Day Achievment

First 17-Year-Old Whose Books Are Mandatory Reading in Schools

The Middle School Chronicles series of books is a smash hit among – you guessed it – middle-school students. But parents and teachers also love it so much that it’s now become required reading in several school districts in some Brooklyn charter schools and in the state of New Jersey. Amazingly, the author began writing her books when she was in middle school. Essynce Moore, now 17 and the author of three books, is not resting on her inspiring laurels. She’s on a mission to make her series required in schools outside of the country as well.
 
Because the series is a nonfiction first-person account of life at, and surrounding, school, they are instantly relevant and relatable to their target audience. Students can laugh, cringe and cry at the real-life experiences and pressures they face each day and take advice from the most trusted source at that age – a peer. Some teachers assign the book as summer reading for students about to enter middle school, to better prepare them for the new institutional and social terrain they’ll be navigating. Issues such as bullying, friendships and interacting with teachers are addressed through the chronicles of Essynce’s life. Now in high school, that life involves traveling across the country to address schools, educators and parents at speaking events and conferences. Click below to learn more.

2020 February Newsletter, Present Day Achievment

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