February’s been a whirlwind of activities for me (including the second episode of my podcast miniseries–Killing the Industry: Dinner Dates). The most important? Celebrating Black History.
I’ve been a bit passive in the past when celebrating Black History Month, because school has always been a great reminder of projects and events. This year, however, I’ve had to be more proactive about enriching my melanin education. Here’s how I’ve attempted to do so:
- Checking Out Social Media Posts- ex. Naturally Political on Facebook. For those who know me, I’m not a huge fan of Facebook, but the Naturally Political Page has been posting a new site of African American history everyday this month, including but not limited to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History to smaller-known (but still as important) sites in Arkansas. (Full disclosure: I know one of the moderators and therefore, privy to amount of careful research she puts into each posting.)
- 2. Checking Out Events IRL- ex. An Evening with Ruth E. Carter. This outing was like killing two birds with one stone since a) the event was a Q&A with Marvel’s Black Panther (2018) costume designer Ruth E. Carter, and b) the event was held in the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. In addition to pumping me up for such a highly-anticipated superhero movie by hearing of Carter’s creative influences (from specific Ethiopian tribes to Japanese designers such as Issey Miyake to afro-futurism and royalty elements transmuted through the uses of black and purple), I also had the chance to view parts of museum’s artwork at night.
3.Checking Out Interests with a Twist- ex. Marvel’s Black Panther opening-day screening. During Carter’s talk (and perhaps you already knew this), she mentioned that Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther had been added to Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War (2016) sort of last minute, but the character made a big impact.When tickets first went on sale for Black Panther, they nearly sold out. Prior to the screening, I’d felt mildly prepared–I’d attended the talk with the Carter, read a few of the recent Black Panther comics, etc. But after the movie…
(If you haven’t seen it yet, you really, really should.)
Even though February is winding down, I appreciate its placement as the second month of the year. Because it feels like it’s not the only month to celebrate Black History, but more like a great introduction to celebrate it the rest of year.
What I’m Listening To: “Finesse Remix” Featuring Cardi B. by Bruno Mars. In addition to Cardi B’s spin on the song, I’m in love with this music video. It’s a tribute to the 90’s comedy-sketch show, In Living Color, where comedic greats like Tommy Davidson, David Alan Grier, T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh (remember her? she played Raven’s mom on That’s So Raven), and Jim Carrey got started. Also, the song is just catchy, right?
What I’m Reading: Marvel’s Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Books Two and Three by Ta-nehisi Coates.
What I’m Watching: Marvel’s Black Panther (2018) (of course), but PBS has some spectacular documentaries playing this month, like Stanley Nelson’s documentary on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tell Them We Are Rising.
Also, I know I’m super late, but I finally saw Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017). Those Oscar and Golden Globe nominations are well-deserved.