A couple of years ago I did a brief post about a New Mexico town founded by black settlers because a documentary was being crowdfunded. During Black History Month, let’s learn more about the short-lived town! Continue reading
In the Black History Month post on Sister Rosetta Tharpe I talked about the far-reaching impact black Americans have had on practically every music genre to be developed in the US. Today, I want to introduce you to Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson – the three friends that gave birth to techno and who influenced music around the world. Continue reading
Marsha P. Johnson was an over-all badass gender-nonconforming drag queen, sex worker, and gay liberation activist. She was representative of some of the most marginalized communities – black, queer, poor, homeless, mentally ill, and physically sick. But, she was a fighter – a pioneer for the LGBTQ movement.
Dorothy Porter Wesley was a librarian and the founding curator at Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at Howard University. She needs to be celebrated during Black History Month because she challenged the racial bias in the Dewey Decimal System and her work was the foundation for what became Black Studies.
Ron Finley, aka The Gangsta Gardener, is a former fashion designer turned activist and urban gardener. He is a man that is changing the landscape of Los Angeles.
Romare Bearden is another black American I’ll feature for #BlackHistoryMonth who is not un-famous, but whose name should be more recognized than it is. Bearden was an artist and art-historian of black art. He celebrated the black experience through oil and watercolor painting and collage that incorporated torn magazine images.
Madam C. J. Walker was an entrepreneur, civil rights activist, philanthropist, and one of the wealthiest self-made women in the US.
Black Americans have influenced every style of music since they were brought here during the slave trade. With the sheer volume of trailblazing musicians in the African American community, I could easily devote Black History Month to posts about their contributions to American culture. Ragtime, blues, jazz, gospel, be-bop, rock-n-roll, reggae, funk, ska, rap, sampling, hip-hop, disco, house, techno…all of these were born in black American communities. Heavy metal came from blues and rock & roll. Punk was influenced by ska. Country music traces back to blues (and the racist black–face minstrel music of Emmett Miller.)
While Bayard Rustin is well known to many, it should be the case that his name can be called up as easily as that of Martin Luther King Jr.
It was only appropriate that I kick off this month of posts about black Americans with a post about the founder of Black History Month, Carter G. Woodson. Most of the people I will write about this month will not be household names, especially among white people. But, the subject of my second post is well-known black American poet Langston Hughes, who I chose for personal reasons.