Celebrating Black History at The Fortune Society

Celebrating Black History at The Fortune Society

02/01/2024

For Black History Month, the staff at The Fortune Society collaborated to create a community guide for celebrating and honoring Black history. The guide is filled with events, policy actions, resources, book recommendations, and a Black History Spotify playlist.

Recognizing that Black history is American history—and American history is year-round—we will continuously update this list throughout the year.

Black History Spotify Playlist

Listen to The Fortune Society’s Black History Spotify playlist, with songs selected by staff members. Artists include Kendrick Lamar, Nina Simone, Alicia Keys, and more.

 

Book Recommendations

Freedom Is a Constant Struggle By Angela Y. Davis

The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

The Bluest Eye: A Novel by Toni Morrison

Fences by August Wilson

From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Black Futures edited by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham

Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking by Toni Tipton-Martin

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

Black Men Built the Capitol  by Jesse J. Holland

Eight Men by Richard Wright

Black Judges on Justice by Linn Washington

The Rose that Grew from Concrete by Tupac Shakur

The Tradition by Jericho Brown 

Locking Up Our Own by James Forman Jr.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

A Black Women’s History of the United States by Daina Ramey Berry & Kali Nicole Gross

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965–2010 edited by Kevin Young and Michael S. Glaser

Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Felon by Reginald Dwayne Betts

Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith 

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock

Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age by Kevin Boyle

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Sula by Toni Morrison

The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart by Alicia Garza

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements edited by Adrienne Maree Brown and Walidah Imarisha

How Long ‘til Black Future Month? by N. K. Jemisin

Kindred by Octavia Butler

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

The Selected Works of Audre Lord edited by Roxane Gay

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead 

All About Love by Bell Hooks

Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family by Mitchell S. Jackson

Caste: The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America by Tamara Winfrey Harris 

Pleasure Activism by Adrienne Maree Brown

Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Taught by Women: Poems as Resistance Language by Haki R. Madhubuti

We Refuse to Forget by Caleb Gayle

The Come Up by Jonathon Abrams

View other curated reading lists of poems, essays, and books by the Poetry Foundation, Poets.org, and The Rumpus.

 

Events

Free Black Women’s Library in Brooklyn

The Free Black Women’s Library is a social art project, offering a collection of over 5,000 books written by Black women and non-binary authors, weekly book swaps, a virtual reading club and a variety of public programs.

Giants” Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys

Tickets are available now for the Brooklyn Museum’s presentation of the Dean Collection, spotlighting work from Black diasporic artists. The exhibition is open from February 10 to July 7.  

The Ways of Langston Hughes: Griff Davis and Black Artists in the Making

Opening on February 1, this exhibition at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture will present an intimate look at the life of Langston Hughes, spotlight work from photojournalist Griffith Davis.

Check out some Black-owned restaurants in NYC!

If you are looking to support Black-owned businesses in your community, consider grabbing a bite at one of these delicious restaurants. You’ll find a variety of options, including Southern comfort food, Jamaican cuisine and more.

16th Annual Black History Month Celebration

The Harlem Chambers players will present their 16th Black History Month Celebration concert on February 15, featuring three talented Black women performers. RSVP now for this free event.

Film and Television Recommendations

Just Mercy directed by Destin Daniel Cotton

I Am Not Your Negro directed by Raoul Peck

Farming directed by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

The Wire created by David Simon

BlacKkKlansman directed by Spike Lee

Judas and the Black Messiah directed by Shaka King

The Underground Railroad created by Barry Jenkins

One Night in Miami directed by Regina King

The United States vs. Billie Holiday directed by Lee Daniels

Abbott Elementary created by Quinta Brunson

If Beale Street Could Talk directed by Barry Jenkins

Girlfriends created by Mara Brock Akil

Empire created by Lee Daniels

Marshall directed by Reginald Hudlin

Resources

Black Lives Matter at School

Black Lives Matter at School is a national coalition organizing for racial justice in education.  They encourage all educators, students, parents, unions, and community organizations to join an annual week of action during the first week of February each year.​ Their website features information on curriculum and starter kits, as well as upcoming events. 

Anti-Racism

An Anti-Racist Reading List from author and historian, Ibram X. Kendi courtesy of the Chicago Public Library.

Watch Ibram X. Kendi’s TED Talk: How To Build an Anti-Racist World.

Resources and tools regarding racism and anti-Blackness are available in this Anti-Racist Allyship Starter Pack.

BlackHistoryMonth.gov

BlackHistoryMonth.gov is a collaborative project of the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

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