UltraViolet’s Black History Month Curriculum

February 1

Add three books from Zora’s 100 Books by Black Women Authors to your reading list or library queue. (Extra Credit: Count how many of these books you were assigned to read in high school.)

February 2

Watch Kimberlé Crenshaw’s TED Talk: “The Urgency of Intersectionality”

February 3

Analyze your privilege by reading Peggy McIntosh’s essay, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, and ask yourself the questions at the end of the essay.

February 4

Watch this 9-minute Vox documentary about black women and the history of medicine.

February 5

Read “5 Phrases Your Black Friend Wishes You’d Stop Saying”

“If you want to be supportive and encouraging, try supporting your friend’s right to be a whole Black woman instead of a ‘strong’ one.”

February 6

Listen to Another Round’s “How To Be A Better Ally: An Open Letter To White Folks.”

February 7

#FollowFriday: Infuse your Instagram feed with more black queer perspectives. Here are five accounts to start with: Boi Society, BLK MKT Vintage, Ericka Hart, Indya Moore, and Gem.

February 8

Watch the progression of the transatlantic slave trade in this two-minute infographic.

February 9

View a 3D rendering of a slave ship from 1784. (Extra Credit: Spend more time on SlaveVoyages.org)

February 10

Look at Underground Railroad routes that enslaved Black people traversed to escape from slavery.

February 11

Watch a reading of Sojourner Truth’s 1851 speech “Ain’t I A Woman?”. (Extra Credit: Read context about her speech.)

February 12

Listen to this podcast about how American capitalism was built on the enslavement of millions of Black people. (Extra credit: Read the entire 1619 Project.)

February 13

Listen to this 1941 audio interview with Aunt Harriet Smith, who recalls life during slavery. (Transcript available here.)

February 14

#FollowFriday: Learn more about Black history and culture by following more museums on Instagram. Here are five to start with: the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Schomburg Center, the National Civil Rights Museum, the Studio Museum, and the Baltimore Museum of Art.

February 15

Learn about the destruction of Black Wall Street in this 9-minute Vox documentary.

“Somebody must show that the Afro-American race is more sinned against than sinning, and it seems to have fallen upon me to do so.” — Ida B. Wells

February 16

Read this corrective obituary of anti-lynching activist and journalist Ida B. Wells, published by The New York Times almost 90 years after her death.

Photo by Bill Bitzinger

February 17

Watch this 20-minute documentary about what racist memorabilia teaches us about the Black experience in Jim Crow America.

February 18

Watch street scenes from Harlem in 1939.

February 19

View painter, Jacob Lawrence’s series depicting the 20th-century migration of 6 million Black people out of the South.

February 20

View this gallery of mid-century portraits of Black life, shot by Black photographers.

February 21

#FollowFriday: Follow more historians on Twitter. Here are five scholars to get you started: Annette Gordon-Reed, Professor Manisha Sinha, Ashley D. Farmer, Jessica Marie Johnson, and Dr. Kidada E. Williams.

February 22

This weekend, watch the first episode of the documentary Eyes on the Prize: Awakenings (1954–1956.) You can stream it for free by creating a free account on FacingHistory.org or by using your library card at Kanopy.com)

February 23

Watch Aretha Franklin perform “Respect,” then read the story of how a 24-year old Franklin re-interpreted an Otis Redding song into a black power anthem.

February 24

Read the letter James Baldwin wrote to his nephew in 1962.

February 25

Watch Nina Simone perform “Mississippi Goddamn and read about the historical events that inspired her to write the protest song.

February 26

Listen to this NPR story about Americans with both Black and indigenous heritage.

February 27

Watch 100 years of black hairstyles in 3.5 minutes.

February 28

First, watch dancers boogie down the Soul Train in this clip, then read about Soul Train’s radical history.

February 29

Read The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House, by Audre Lorde.



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