AJB Recommends: Resources for Black History Month

resources for Black History monthDo we need resources to learn about Black history? When I was in high school, I didn’t understand that most of the history I learned came to me from the perspectives of affluent, educated, white people. In college, I took an African American literature class, which led me to courses in African American history and religion and even pop culture, and I began to recognize that much of the history I had learned could be told from a different angle.

Perspectives

Was the Civil War about states’ rights or about slavery? How do those two ideas intersect? When I’ve learned about the movement for the abolition of slavery, have I learned by reading documents from white people or Black people? When I learn about the Civil Rights movement, what story did I understand about Black Power? Have I ever been taught anything about white nationalist movements in America? 

The questions could go on and on, but the point is simply that American history has been, and still is, taught from a particular perspective that can oversimplify the complex forces at play in all our historical events. I hope that someday, Black History Month will be unnecessary and superfluous—not because all history is taught from the perspective of Black men and women, but because multiple voices are brought into conversation with one another when students explore any time period. For now, we turn our attention for a few short weeks to the way Black men and women have shaped and changed who we are as a nation. 

Resources for Black History Month

If you’d like resources for yourself or your kids in order to learn more about Black history through books, film, and other media, here’s a comprehensive list of the novels, memoirs, and works of non-fiction that have challenged me and resonated with me most deeply.


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Hi, I’m Amy Julia.

I write about faith, family, disability, and privilege.

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