BLACK HISTORY PLAYLIST

Also available:
Children (PK-5) and Families Black History Playlist
Youth (Grades 6-12) Black History Playlist


Read

The Origins of Black History Month. (History.com)

Black History Milestones: Timeline (History.com)

Episcopalians confront hard truths about the Episcopal Church’s role in slavery, black history. (EpiscopalChurch.org)

America’s oldest living WWII veteran faced hostility abroad—and at home. At 110 years old, Louisiana native Lawrence Brooks is proud of his service and says he would do it again. National Geographic 

Faith and Learning: The Life of Anna Julia Haywood Cooper. February 28 marks the liturgical feast day ofAnna Julia Haywood Cooper, author and educator born in 1858 who lived to be 105. She was one of the most prominent African American scholars in United States history. 

Frances Joseph-Gaudet, was a New Orleanian, an Educator and a Prison Reformer. Read her autobiography, He Leadeth Me, which can be viewed for free. Excerpt: "There is a chronic class of prisoners, white and colored, who are out one week and in the next. Some deem this class hopeless, but I believe there is some good in all, and as long as there is life there is hope." 

“The 1868 St. Bernard Parish Massacre: Blood in the Cane Fields,” by Chris Dier, author, educator and 2020 Louisiana Teacher of the Year. Synopsis: Days before the tumultuous presidential election of 1868, St. Bernard Parish descended into chaos. As African American men gained the right to vote, white Democrats of the parish feared losing their majority. Armed groups mobilized to suppress these recently emancipated voters in the hopes of regaining a way of life turned upside down by the Civil War and Reconstruction. The tragedy was hidden, but implications reverberated throughout the South and lingered for generations.

26 Black Americans You Don't Know But Should

14 African American Inventors to Remember This Black History Month and Beyond

26 Little-Known Black History Facts You May Not Have Learned In School

The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby. An acclaimed, timely narrative of how people of faith have historically--up to the present day--worked against racial justice. And a call for urgent action by all Christians today in response. 

Strange Fruit: Nine Unsung Heroes of Black History, in a Graphic Novel by Joel Christian Gill. “Titled after the harrowing song made popular by Billie Holiday and written by a Jewish schoolteacher who witnessed a brutal racial lynching, this graphic anthology spotlights nine unsung heroes of civil rights. Among them are Henry “Box” Brown, who mailed himself to Philadelphia to escape slavery, Bass Reeves, who became the most successful lawman in the Old West, and Theophilus Thompson, a former slave who taught himself chess and became the first African American chess master.”

Important Definitions: Civil War, Reconstruction, 14th Amendment, Segregation, Jim Crow Laws

Slavery's explosive growth, in charts: How '20 and odd' became millions: See how slavery grew in the U.S. over two centuries. An interactive timeline from USA Today.

“What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” by Frederick Douglass, July 5, 1852.

Article: How Christian Slaveholders Used the Bible to Justify Slavery.

Sunday NYTimes Review of Nell Irvin Painter’s title, “The History of White People." Telling perhaps the most important forgotten story in American history, eminent historian Nell Irvin Painter guides us through more than two thousand years of Western civilization, illuminating not only the invention of race but also the frequent praise of “whiteness” for economic, scientific, and political ends. Purchase the book on Amazon.

Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman Still Speaks to the Church. What does Jesus offer to a people who live with their backs against the wall? This is the question with which Howard Thurman began his landmark work, Jesus and the Disinherited, in 1949. The work became an intellectual pillar for the burgeoning civil rights movement in the 1950s. Howard Thurman, an unorthodox mystic and prophet, served as a spiritual mentor to civil rights leaders in the mid-century black freedom struggle. Sidenote: The only two books MLK Jr. carried with him everywhere he went were the Bible and this book. Article from Christianity Today (1000 words)

Revised Absalom Jones biography by By Arthur K. Sudler, William Carl Bolivar Director, Historical Society & Archives, African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas. Jones was an earnest preacher. He denounced slavery, and warned the oppressors to “clean their hands of slaves.” To him, God was the Father, who always acted on “behalf of the oppressed and distressed.” But it was his constant visiting and mild manner that made him beloved by his congregation and by the community. St Thomas Church grew to over 500 members during its first year. The congregants formed a day school and were active in moral uplift, self-empowerment, and anti-slavery activities. Known as “the Black Bishop of the Episcopal Church,” Jones was an example of persistent faith in God and in the Church as God’s instrument. Jones died on this day in 1818.


Watch

The Black Church. This Is Our Story. This is Our Song is a moving four-hour, two-part series that traces the 400-year-old story of the Black church in America, all the way down to its bedrock role as the site of African American survival and grace, organizing and resilience, thriving and testifying, autonomy and freedom, solidarity and speaking truth to power. The documentary reveals how Black people have worshipped and, through their spiritual journeys, improvised ways to bring their faith traditions from Africa to the New World, while translating them into a form of Christianity that was not only truly their own, but a redemptive force for a nation whose original sin was found in their ancestors’ enslavement across the Middle Passage. Tune in or stream on Tuesday, February 16 at 8:00pm Central.

Cornerstones: Founding Voices of the Black Church. Without people, there can’t be a church. So, who were the people who made the Black church possible in America? How could a nation embrace the Christian Gospel and Constitution that were so clearly anti-slavery and still justify slavery? According to the Bible, Christians are charged to spread the Gospel, gather, read scripture, and serve one another. According to the Constitution, all men are created equal. So, who were the Americans that brought the country to face the promises it wasn’t living up to? In this short animated series, we look at just a few pivotal people who brought the reality of the right to gather, read, sing, worship, and share these truths that should have always been self-evident.

In 2014, the New York diocese created a three-part video examining the Episcopal Church’s role in slavery. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

The Hidden History of New Orleans honors the contributions of African Americans to the story of the Greater New Orleans region. (19:08)

TedTalk: GirlTrek. Founders of the health nonprofit GirlTrek, are on a mission to reduce the leading causes of preventable death among Black women -- and build communities in the process. How? By getting one million women and girls to prioritize their self-care, lacing up their shoes and walking in the direction of their healthiest, most fulfilled lives. (15:25)

Cultivating Culture Change. Being antiracist requires more than hosting a periodic book club. Both as individuals and faith communities we can make changes to our practices to become more faithful witnesses to God’s love on earth.(55min webinar from Lifelong Learning at Virginia Theological Seminary)

Good Hair starring Chris Rock. In this eye-opening documentary, Chris Rock takes us around the world, to shine a light on the importance of hair in our culture. (1 h 35 min)

35 Inspiring, Joyful and Moving Movies You Should Stream for Black History Month

I am Not Your Negro. Director Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished, Remember This House. It is a journey into black history that connects the Civil Rights movement to #BlackLivesMatter. It questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. (1h 33min)

Frederick Douglass Spoke at a July 4 Event in 1852. Here Are His Powerful Words.

In this short film, five young descendants of Frederick Douglass read and respond to excerpts of his famous speech, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" which asks all Americans to consider the country's long history of denying equal rights to Black people.

Reconstruction and 1876: Crash Course US History #22. Following the end of the Civil War, many African Americans found themselves turning from slavery to sharecropping, an unfair system that would last until World War II and the Civil Rights Movement.

The Color Purple. Based on Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Color Purple is a richly-textured, powerful film set in America's rural south. (2 h 33 min, 1985, PG-13)

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. A story about the American experience told by a former Louisiana slave, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman spans over 100 years of southern history. From the Civil War to the civil rights movement, this fictional narrative provides a moving and impactful look at the struggle African Americans faced in the midst of a divided nation. (1 h 49 min, 1974)

In Their Own Words: The Tuskegee Airmen tells the story of the famed aviation pioneers, the Tuskegee Airmen, who were the first African American pilots of the US Army Air Force. The men saw combat in the skies of the European Theater. (45min, 2011, PG13)

The story of Reconstruction. In the years following the Civil War known as Reconstruction, newly-freed African American men could finally vote, and would be elected to represent Southerners in Congress. But it was a period that would be transformed into an era of segregation and Jim Crow laws, and be taught to succeeding generations as a failed political experiment. (8:13)

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross. This six-hour PBS series explores the evolution of the African-American people, as well as the multiplicity of cultural institutions, political strategies, and religious and social perspectives they developed - forging their own history, culture and society against unimaginable odds. (6 episodes, 2013, TV-PG)

Dr. King's Final Sunday Sermon. On March 31, 1968, Dr. King preached his final Sunday Sermon at Washington National Cathedral. (47:26)

The Black Power Mixed Tape (1967-1975) mobilizes a treasure trove of 16mm material shot by Swedish journalists who came to the US drawn by stories of urban unrest and revolution. Gaining access to many of the leaders of the Black Power Movement. The filmmakers captured them in intimate moments and remarkably unguarded interviews. Amazon Prime. (1 h 32 min, 2011, 13+)

They Gotta Have Us. The rise of black actors as they have gone from being the backdrop to calling the shots. This is the inside story of the turning points of black life on both sides of the lens, from Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte, to the present day.

I Am Not Your Negro. Based on James Baldwin’s unfinished book, this visual essay explores racism through the stories of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. (Netflix, 2017, PG-13, 1h 33m)


Participate

GirlTrek’s Black History Bootcamp: A 21-day Walking Meditation in the footsteps of our foremothersGirlTrek's epic 21-day walking meditation series to remember where we came from and to gather strength for the road ahead. We celebrate Black stories and the lessons of our ancestors to help guide us through these uncertain times. Each episode is a conversation on learning, living and elevating to our highest self with guidance from lessons of the past.

Black-owned restaurants in New Orleans. These black-owned dining establishments boast some of the best cuisine around.

Got some leftover rice? Make this breakfast fritter called “Calas”, which were once a vital part of African-American livelihood in New Orleans, and even helped some slaves buy their freedom. Read more about the history of Calas in this NPR article: Meet The Calas, A New Orleans Tradition That Helped Free Slaves

Register for the panel discussion “Lift Every Voice: African-American Anglican Sacred music and the Hymnal 1982” presented by the Union of Black Episcopalians on February 11 at 5pm CST.

Historically Speaking: Four Hundred Souls – A Conversation with Ibram Kendi and Keisha N. Blain. Renowned scholars Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist, and Keisha N. Blain, author of Set the World on Fire, has assembled 90 extraordinary writers to document the four-hundred-year journey of African Americans from 1619 to the present. Contributors Annette Gordon Reed (Harvard University) and Herb Boyd (City University of New York) will join Prof. Kendi and Prof. Blain to discuss the impact of the African American community on American History.

Black History Month and the Bible. Museum of the Bible has released a 10-day YouVersion reading plan that explores the role the Bible played in the lives and achievements of African Americans. The Bible has a complicated legacy in the history of Black Americans, especially because it was used to justify the enslavement of millions in the colonial era up until the time of the Civil War. The Bible also gave hope to both abolitionists and those who were enslaved, providing powerful language and spiritual guidance for those fighting for the cause of freedom.


Listen

On Being Interview with Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns. Go to the doctor and they won’t begin to treat you without taking your history — and not just yours, but that of your parents and grandparents before you. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson points this out as she reflects on her epic work of narrative nonfiction, The Warmth of Other Suns. She’s immersed herself in the stories of the Great Migration, the movement of six million African Americans to northern U.S. cities in the 20th century. The book is a carrier of histories and truths that help make sense of human and social challenges at the heart of our life together now.

On Being Interview with author Ta-Nehisi Coates: Imagining a New America. Ta-Nehisi Coates says we must love our country the way we love our friends — and not spare the hard truths. “Can you get to a place where citizens are encouraged to see themselves critically, where they’re encouraged to see their history critically?” 

Podcast: GirlTrek’s Black History Bootcamp offers twenty-one, 30-minute episodes of history lessons featuring lessons of our country’s Black foremothers. Apple | Spotify. Be sure to start with Episode 1, Audre Lorde. You will have to scroll to the bottom.

Redemption Song Arranged by Sheku Kanneh-Mason and performed by his entire family and this artistic video featuring Bob Marley and the Wailers.

"Lift Every Voice: History of Black Music". America’s DJ Questlove and U.S. Senator Cory Booker sit down to talk about the history of black music, some of their favorite songs growing up, and the music that inspires them today. (58 min)

Celebrating Black History Month At The Tiny Desk. This February, NPR Music's Tiny Desk Concert series will celebrate Black History Month by featuring 13 Tiny Desk (home) concerts by Black artists across genres. The lineup includes both emerging and established artists who will be performing a Tiny Desk concert for the first time.

Why Brown University decided to confront its role in slavery. Ruth Simmons was the first African American president of an Ivy League college. She was also the first to request a study looking at the role university founders played in slavery. Simmons talked with USA TODAY's Deborah Barfield Berry about the groundbreaking work. (4:53)

Black History for White People. The goal of this podcast is to educate white people on black history. The highest calling of humanity is to love. Whether you know it or not, the racial disparities in our country hurt us. They train us to protect our advantages rather than love others, and that mentality reduces us. New episodes will be released on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month.


Pray and Reflect

How do these resources reframe your view of the Black culture and the violence experienced throughout history? 

How do these resources demonstrate ways Scripture has been used to justify and perpetuate racial violence and division?

How was your discipleship informed by a distorted gospel, and how have you participated in it?

  • Celebrate a different culture than your own this month. 
  • Immerse yourself in its: history, food, language, customs, art, music, etc.
  • Connect with people from this culture and celebrate who they are. 

Black History Month and the Bible. Museum of the Bible has released a 10-day YouVersion reading plan that explores the role the Bible played in the lives and achievements of African Americans. The Bible has a complicated legacy in the history of Black Americans, especially because it was used to justify the enslavement of millions in the colonial era up until the time of the Civil War. The Bible also gave hope to both abolitionists and those who were enslaved, providing powerful language and spiritual guidance for those fighting for the cause of freedom.


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