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    Link Round Up: Black History Month

    by Meghan Kowalski on 2024-02-21T08:00:00-05:00 | 0 Comments

    Black history is American history. It encompasses a wide range of topics, including meditations on hardships and challenges, triumphs, as well as stories of amazing resistance and demonstrations of rich culture.


    Check out these amazing resources that span the gamut from books to digital materials.



    Cover ArtCaste by Isabel Wilkerson
    In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched, and beautifully written narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people's lives and behavior and the nation's fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people--including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball's Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others--she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their outcasting of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity. Original and revealing, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American life today.
    Cover ArtOne Drop by Yaba Blay
    Challenges narrow perceptions of Blackness as both an identity and lived reality to understand the diversity of what it means to be Black in the US and around the world What exactly is Blackness and what does it mean to be Black? Is Blackness a matter of biology or consciousness? Who determines who is Black and who is not? Who's Black, who's not, and who cares? In the United States, a Black person has come to be defined as any person with any known Black ancestry. Statutorily referred to as "the rule of hypodescent," this definition of Blackness is more popularly known as the "one-drop rule," meaning that a person with any trace of Black ancestry, however small or (in)visible, cannot be considered White. A method of social order that began almost immediately after the arrival of enslaved Africans in America, by 1910 it was the law in almost all southern states. At a time when the one-drop rule functioned to protect and preserve White racial purity, Blackness was both a matter of biology and the law. One was either Black or White. Period. Has the social and political landscape changed one hundred years later? One Drop explores the extent to which historical definitions of race continue to shape contemporary racial identities and lived experiences of racial difference. Featuring the perspectives of 60 contributors representing 25 countries and combining candid narratives with striking portraiture, this book provides living testimony to the diversity of Blackness. Although contributors use varying terms to self-identify, they all see themselves as part of the larger racial, cultural, and social group generally referred to as Black. They have all had their identity called into question simply because they do not fit neatly into the stereotypical "Black box"-dark skin, "kinky" hair, broad nose, full lips, etc. Most have been asked "What are you?" or the more politically correct "Where are you from?" throughout their lives. It is through contributors' lived experiences with and lived imaginings of Black identity that we can visualize multiple possibilities for Blackness.
    Cover ArtThis Here Flesh by Cole Arthur Riley
    "From the womb, we must repeat with regularity that to love ourselves is to survive. I believe that is what my father wanted for me and knew I would so desperately need: a tool for survival, the truth of my dignity named like a mercy new each morning." So writes Cole Arthur Riley in her unforgettable book of stories and reflections on discovering the sacred in her skin. In these deeply transporting pages, Arthur Riley reflects on the stories of her grandmother and father, and how they revealed to her an embodied, dignity-affirming spirituality, not only in what they believed but in the act of living itself. Writing memorably of her own childhood and coming to self, Arthur Riley boldly explores some of the most urgent questions of life and faith: How can spirituality not silence the body, but instead allow it to come alive? How do we honor, lament, and heal from the stories we inherit? How can we find peace in a world overtaken with dislocation, noise, and unrest? In this indelible work of contemplative storytelling, Arthur Riley invites us to descend into our own stories, examine our capacity to rest, wonder, joy, rage, and repair, and find that our humanity is not an enemy to faith but evidence of it. At once a compelling spiritual meditation, a powerful intergenerational account, and a tender coming-of-age narrative, This Here Flesh speaks potently to anyone who suspects that our stories might have something to say to us.
    Cover ArtThe Black Librarian in America by Shauntee Burns-Simpson (Editor); Nichelle M. Hayes (Editor); Ana Ndumu (Editor); Shaundra Walker (Editor); Carla D. Hayden (Foreword by)
    The Black Librarian in America: Reflections, Resistance, and Reawakening is the latest in the powerful line of The Black Librarian in America volumes. While previous editions we organized around library types, this edition is organized in four thematic sections": A Rich Heritage: Black Librarian History Celebrating Collective and Individual Identity Black Librarians across Settings Moving Forward: Activism, Anti-Racism, and Allyship" Issues pertaining to Black librarians' intersectional identities, capacities, and contributions take center stage. The Black Librarian in America: Reflections, Resistance, and Reawakening is not only the first edition to be edited entirely by Black women, but it is officially produced by BCALA members in commemoration of the organization's 50th anniversary. Dr. Carla Hayden (14th Librarian of Congress) and Julius Jefferson, Jr. (president of the American Library Association for the 2020-2021 term) contribute moving foreword and afterword segments.

    Scholarly Journals

    • Callaloo - this journal publishes original works by and critical studies of black writers worldwide and offers a rich mixture of fiction, poetry, plays, critical essays, cultural studies, interviews, and visual art.
    • Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History - this journal covers various topics related to colonial history, from pre-colonial societal studies to current post-colonial theory.
    • The Journal of African American History - founded by Dr. Carter G. Woodson in 1916 as the Journal of Negro History, this official publication of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History publishes original scholarly articles and book reviews on all aspects of the African American experience.



    • Black Past - this website covers African American and Global/Diasporic African history and culture.
    • Learning for Justice - this site provides resources and frameworks for teaching about Black history.
    • National Museum of African American History and Culture - the National Museum of African American History and Culture curates digital toolkits in honor of Black History Month but also celebrates Black history, arts and culture all year round.
    • National Archives: African American History - The National Archives holds a wealth of material documenting the African American experience and highlights these resources online, in programs, and through traditional and social media.


    Webinars & Podcasts

    • Teaching Hard History - This podcast does not shy away from the harsh truth of history, starting with chattel slavery through to the present day.
    • Latinx History is Black History - In this webinar, LFJ Senior Writer Coshandra Dillard and former Teaching and Learning Specialist Stef Bernal-Martinez share stories and strategies for teaching Afro-Latinx history.
    • Historically Black Podcast - this podcast highlights the stories of various objects, including family photos and personal objects, that explore regular people’s lived experiences of black history. These objects were submitted as part of the Washington Post’s coverage of the National Museum of African American History and Culture


    What's your favorite place to learn about Black history?

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