Celebrating Black History Today and Every Day
The impact of Black people on the world can never be fully calculated, although it’s easy to feel in every aspect of our lives. From the ongoing fight for human and civil rights, to global music trends, to innovative inventions — Black people continue to shape the world with strength, beauty, joy, and resolve. As Western Center pursues equity for Black people within our work, this month we celebrate their triumphs, and encourage you to do the same.
Here are resources to engage with, this month and beyond:
- The Anti-Racism Daily is doing 28 Days of Black History, an emailed virtual exhibition of 28 works that celebrate Black legacy in the U.S., delivered every evening in February. Sign up to receive the exhibition here.
- Equal Justice Initiative has A History of Racial Injustice calendar, which is full of often hard-to-find information about racial justice and equity.
- The nomination of Stacey Abrams for a 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, for her work promoting nonviolent change through voting which “follows in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s footsteps in the fight for equality before the law and for civil rights.”
- The nomination of the Black Lives Matter movement for a 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. The nomination letter pointed to BLM’s global influence, stating, “BLM’s call for systemic change has spread around the world, forcing other countries to grapple with racism within their own societies.” Sounds about right, and very much in line with the far-reaching legacy of Black people in the United States and throughout the world.
- Because of Them We Can is a great resource chronicling Black history of the past, and history being made today. Recent entries include the history-making Black women on President Biden’s communications team, and a post about Charlotta Bass, the first Black woman to run for Vice President in 1952.
- Due to structural and systemic racism, many barriers impact the advancement of Black lawyers. There are still many “firsts” in the legal field, including the ACLU’s first Black president, and the first Black editor-in-chief of the Virginia Law Review, both announced this year. And of course, our very own executive director, Crystal D. Crawford, is the first Black woman or woman of color to lead Western Center.
As a founding member of the CROWN Coalition, a movement to end race-based hair discrimination in schools and workplaces, we are excited to see the spread of the corresponding CROWN Act across the country. Since its passage in California in 2019, the CROWN Act has also passed in states and municipalities across the U.S., including Washington, Colorado, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Columbus, OH, Greensboro, NC, Kansas City, MO, and many more. That list continues to grow.
Hair discrimination is one of many ways Black people continue to experience our country’s foundation of white supremacy. The CROWN Act is a triumph of which we are proud to be a part.