black history month

February is Black History Month.

Thanks to my former Congressperson, Charlie Rangel. And thanks to Andrea for sending me this!

More serious suggestions for exploring Black history are Toni Morrison's masterpiece, Beloved, the great PBS miniseries Eyes On The Prize, and Voices Of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s Through the 1980s.


barefoot hiker said...

I loved Eyes On the Prize as a teenager. I hadn't seen it in years, and I noticed the Toronto Public Library system (used to be several different libraries till '98 or so) had several copies, so I started borrowing them. What I remember was the story of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black Chicagoan who went south to visit relatives in Mississippi. Unaware of the "rules" of conduct in the South, he whistled at a white woman, and was taken away in the middle of the night and found later, beaten to death. What's seared in my memory now is how the show hinted about how brutal the assault had been, and finally, almost reluctantly, got around to showing his bloated, rubbery face in the casket. It was the most shocking thing I'd seen on television for as long as I could remember. The hatred it conveyed -- and when offered in response to such a trivial matter -- frightened me. Made aware of history, it sometimes surprises me that white people can muster the courage to look black people in the eye, especially down south.

barefoot hiker said...

But here's something good for us all to be proud of. Sometimes justice prevails...


laura k said...

Lone Primate, I remember it well. It was riveting and deeply frightening.

There was a whole PBS documentary on Emmett Till's murder and the aftermath, part of the terrific American Experience series. Here's some info on that program.

The case was a landmark for the US - it brought lynching into the open, and galvanized the civil-rights movement.

laura k said...

But here's something good for us all to be proud of.

How great!

Here's something Marnie sent me about her hometown, which was an end point on the Underground Railroad.