As the end of Black History Month nears, we wanted to take this time to reflect on the theme of this month – Black Resistance.
Black revolutionaries have fought for equality since before the founding of the USA as a nation-state. From enslaved individuals rebelling against slave owners to sit-ins, boycotts, and strikes to taking the knee during the national anthem, Black resistance has many forms.
Black resistance has continued from the historic fight for civil rights to today, where Black Americans are still fighting for racial equity. During Black History Month, it is increasingly important for non-Black Americans to learn about the history of Black resistance.
Below are some resources that you can look at to increase your knowledge of Black history and Black resistance.
- Black History Month Lessons & Resources by the National Education Association
- Slavery and the Making of America
- Pew Research Study on Black Americans’ perspectives on racial inequality in America
- Slave Communities and Resistance educational resources
- Smithsonian Learning Lab Black History
- Previous Black History Month themes
This is not a comprehensive list, but it is a start to understanding Black history and Black resistance. The American racial past is its racial present and if society remains as is, will continue to be its future. From police brutality to disenfranchisement of Black Americans to the high incarceration rate of Black Americans to de-facto housing segregation, racism in America is not only alive, but thriving. With the ongoing scapegoating of critical race theory and heightened sense of white fragility present in parents attending school board meetings, Black people are villainized again and again in popular discourse. Although a month of remembrance is needed and necessary, it is furthermore necessary to remember Black history and Black radicals in day-to-day life in America. The words of Martin Luther King Jr. that are sanitized to fit into a palatable form of social justice, the impact of Malcolm X that is heavily ignored, and the Black Lives Matter movement, often antagonized and misinterpreted.
It is necessary to understand that Black history is the present nature of American society, and that we must fight to ensure an equitable and just future.