Black History Month – A Time for Reflection and Resistance

Black History Month is an important time to reflect, to celebrate and to honour. It is also a time to examine the Black experience in the USA, and across the globe. This month is also an opportunity to raise awareness about the history of black people, and to promote understanding, equality, unity, and cultural diversity.

Whilst African Americans have made very significant contributions to American society and culture, their contributions are often overlooked or underrepresented in mainstream history. Black History Month provides a platform for these contributions to be recognized and celebrated, and for the public to become more informed about the history of African Americans. It is aimed to encourage “people of all ethnic and social backgrounds to discuss and connect to the Black Experience”.

This March, the theme for Black History Month is ‘Black Resistance’. This puts a spotlight on actively overcoming racial inequality. Black Americans’ resistance to racial inequality has deep seeded roots in the history of the USA, and resistance has taken many forms – from slave rebellions during the colonial era and Civil War to protest movements in the 1950s, ’60s and the Black Lives Matter movement of today. These movements have stressed the importance of freedom, self-determination and equal protection.

This month also holds relevance for South Africans. It serves as a reminder of the injustices and hardships faced by black people under apartheid and the role of resistance in achieving freedom and equality. It creates a platform to remember the black South Africans who have made significant contributions as changemakers – musicians, activists, writers, artists, sportspeople, journalists, judges and ordinary citizens who have used their platform to raise awareness and catalyze change.

Celebrate Black History this month and always with these amazing podcasts and books to add to your list for the year:

Podcasts to listen to:

  • Code Switch by NPR –
  • Black on the Bluff
  • Historically Black By Washington Post -.
  • Witness Black History By BBC –
  • The Nod by Gimlet Media – on Black life.
  • Black History for White People –

Books to read:

  • Black Cake – by Charmaine Wilkerson
  • Brown Girl Dreaming – Jacqueline Woodson
  • The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead
  • The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
  • Always Another Country: A Memoir of Exile and Home – Sisonke Msimang
  • Being Black A South African Story That Matters – Theo Mayekiso
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