Celebrating Black History Month

Black History Month

Black History Month has been celebrated during the month of February as a great part of American history, with it also being celebrated in Canada, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands since the 1970’s. This is a month where television networks, schools across the country, and many other organizations take recognition by incorporating black history into their programming. Here at Bostitch Office, we’re celebrating Black History Month by honoring the people, books and movies that have made a major impact in commemorating Black History Month.

Influential People to Celebrate:

Throughout February, honor the men and women who have made significant contributions to not only America, but the rest of the world in matters of politics, law and entertainment. Take the time to learn about and celebrate their historic achievements in their community.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. advocated for civil rights beginning in the 1950’s. Starting his career as a minister for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, King devoted his life to activism and gave many inspirational speeches that would play a pivotal role in ending segregation in the United States. His inspirational work, including the famous “I Have a Dream” speech of 1963, would also lead to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the same year King would go on to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Martin Luther King Jr. is just one of many historic figures that paved way for Black History Month that we now celebrate every February.

MLK jr.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Barack Obama was the 44th President of the United States, and the first African American to serve in office. He was first elected in 2008 and went on to win the 2012 election as well. Obama graduated from Harvard Law school and went on to practice as a civil rights lawyer in Chicago. In 1996 he was elected Illinois State Senator as a Democrat that launched his career in politics and in 2009, he was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is best known for her talk shows, the television network OWN, being an actress, and billionaire philanthropist. She launched The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986, which aired on 120 channels with an audience of 10 million people. Throughout her career she has been an advocate for Children’s Rights and even founded the Family for Better Lives Foundation. In November 2013, Oprah was awarded with the nation’s highest civil honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, presented to her by Barack Obama.

Oprah Winfrey

Books Celebrating Black History Month:

In congruence with celebrating influential people, it’s also important to celebrate the books that teach us the foundation of Black History Month. The following three books will take you through a timeline of African American livelihoods as the United States progresses through the decades.

Roots

Roots:

Roots, published by Alexander Haley in 1976, tells the story of Kunta Kinte in the 18th century. Captured as an adolescent, Kinte is sold into slavery and transported to North America. The book follows his life and the lives of his descendants all the way down to the author, Haley himself, as they adapt in the United States. The Pulitzer Prize awarded, and New York Times Best Seller book Roots, has since been adapted into an 8-hour series event available to watch on the History Channel, Lifetime, and A&E streaming services.

The Land:

The Land is a book that follows the story of Paul-Edward Logan, a freed slave in the late 1800’s, who’s also the son of a white man and a black woman. The book chronicles his life, and that of his all-black friend Mitchell, since they were nine years old. The story follows their quest to own their own land and the struggles that they face to get there.

the land

Black Boy

Black Boy:

Black Boy is the autobiography of Richard Wright and describes what it was like to grow up as a black man in the brutality of the South during the Jim Crow era. As a kid from a family who lived in poverty and fear, Wright had to do things he was not proud of to help himself and his family survive. This book will take you through the unashamed confessions of Richard Wright and his personal record of social injustice, and human suffering.

Inspirational Movies:

Following in the footsteps of the books mentioned above, these movies, that are based on inspiring true events, are just a handful of the influential and educational films that help celebrate Black History Month.

Selma:

Selma tells the story of Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers on their epic march from Selma to Montgomery in their efforts to secure equal voting rights across the South. Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South, discrimination was still rampant throughout certain areas that restricted African Americans from being allowed to register to vote. Don’t miss the opportunity to watch these breathtaking and true events unfold in this movie as you celebrate Black History Month this February.

Selma

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures:

Hidden Figures is based off the true story of three brilliant African American women: Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, and their careers at NASA. It was because of these three women that the success of one of the greatest operations in history turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world. Watch as these women’s stories unfold as they assist in the first ever launch of an astronaut into orbit.

12 Years a Slave:

12 Years a Slave is an Academy Award winning film that follows the life of Solomon Northup in the years before the Civil War. Once a free black man who lived in the North, Solomon is captured and sold into slavery, subjected to the cruelty of his owner in the South. Don’t miss out on the chance to see how Solomon maintains his dignity in his 12 years as a slave and how a Canadian abolitionist will change his life forever.

12 Years a Slave

Let us know how you choose to celebrate Black History Month at home, at work, and in your school systems by tagging us on twitter (@BostitchOffice)!

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