Celebrating Black History & Cultures

This was us last year: celebrating Black History with a month of presentations and discussions, trivia games, food, screen printing, even a talent show.

This year, our BSU is hosting a series of awesome virtual events, and we hope to see you there at https://tinyurl.com/nscbsu
Friday 2/12, 3-4PM: Honoring Black History, with a virtual tour of the NW African American Museum
Friday 2/19, 3-4PM: Sister Circle discussion group for WOC
Thursday 2/25, 12-2:30PM: Streaming the documentary LA 92
Friday 2/26, 3-4PM: Discussing the film LA 92

We hope to get back to all our in-person celebrations by 2022, but in the meantime we wanted to share how we, the Student Leadership Events Board, have been celebrating Black art, media, creativity & joy in our everyday lives. Of course there is way more than we could ever list in one article, so this reflects some things that we have personally enjoyed lately.

Check out our list below and if one of your faves is missing, share in the comments!

BOOKS

  • When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir – Patrisse Khan-Cullors & asha bandele
    This book is actually also our all-campus read this year at North. Contact the Library to see if any free copies are still available & sign up to join a faculty-led book discussion!
  • Black Futures – Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham
    Black Futures is an American anthology of Black art, writing, and other creative work, form over 100 contributors.
  • Heavy – Keise Laymon 
    It is about the jagged, uneven road to becoming a writer and a man; it is a chronicle of daily confrontations with the twin assaults of American racism and America’s weight-obsessed culture. Heavy is a compelling record of American violence and family violence, and the wide, rutted embrace of family love.
  • Homie – Danez Smith
    In poems of rare power and generosity, Smith acknowledges that in a country overrun by violence, xenophobia, and disparity, and in a body defined by race, queerness, and diagnosis, it can be hard to survive, even harder to remember reasons for living
  • Honey Girl – Morgan Rogers
    CW: mental illness, self-harm. Grace is a hard-working straight-A student who just finished her PhD in astronomy. Then, celebrating in Vegas, she gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know. Things start to fall apart, but not at all how you’d expect.
  • All Boys Aren’t Blue – George M. Johnson
    Personal essays by an LGBTQ+ activist & journalist about growing up, stories and reflections on Black joy, structural marginalization, brotherhood, relationships, and toxic masculinity, gender identity, and more.
  • Parable of the Sower – Octavia E. Butler
    A Sci-fi classic, written in 1993 but set in 2020. Feels a little more real every day…
  • Akata Witch – Nnedi Okorafor
    Follows 12-year-old Sunny, a Nigerian-American girl with albinism, as she finds her way into a hidden magical community and learns to navigate friendships and identity.
  • Pet – Akwaeke Emezi
    CW: allusions to child abuse. In a utopian future where “there are no monsters anymore,” 17-year-old Jam accidentally brings one of her mother’s horrifying paintings to life.
  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of Americas Great Migration – Isabel Wilkerson 
    This historical account tells the stories of some of the six million(!!) Black Americans who moved from the South to the North between 1915 and 1970.
  • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents – Isabel Wilkerson
    This riveting, illuminating book uncovers the unspoken hierarchies that shape US society.

PODCASTS

  • The Read
    A weekly pop culture podcast by two Black queer writers based in NYC. It is hilarious, poignant, not necessarily family friendly, and always a good time.  
  • Still Processing
    Two culture writers from the New York Times share writing and dialogue on current events, music, movies, art, etc.
  • Therapy for Black Girls
    A weekly chat about all things mental health, personal development, and all the small decisions we can make to become the best possible versions of ourselves.
  • Bag Ladiez
    Two Afro-latinx Dominican friends chat and joke about baggage, world events, vulnerability, and how we can live our truest, most authentic lives.
  • Introverted Black Girl
    Relatable, conversational, and funny. Short, sweet episodes run 10-20 minutes.

SHOWS

  • Insecure
    A Black millennial woman struggles through job and relationship hoopla. Very funny, fairly lighthearted, and very relatable.
  • Watchmen
    With a combo like Sci-fi and racism, what could go wrong? Well, most things.
  • Lovecraft Country
    See above but add a creepy factor.
  • Pose
    Ballroom is the lifeforce of all things trendy and fun, this show is a great peek into the history and contributions of Black and Latinx queer folks.
  • I May Destroy You
    TW: Sexual Assault. Incredibly written, thought provoking, and raw.
  • Queen Sugar
    Compelling & dramatic, this show follow three Black siblings in rural Louisiana as they try to determine the fate of his sugarcane farm following his sudden death.

Plus here’s a list of movies that highlight Black joy (the 90s are well represented!): https://www.popsugar.com/entertainment/movies-about-black-joy-48137615

MUSIC

Logic – “No Pressure” album

Jazmine Sullivan – “Heaux Tales” album

Beyoncé – “Black is King” visual album

Be Steadwell – “Queer Love Songs”

LOCAL BUSINESSES

  • Pam’s Kitchen – 1715 N 45th St, Seattle
    Owner & chef Pam moved here from Trinidad in the early 90s and worked cleaning houses until she earned enough to open her now-iconic restaurant. Don’t miss out!
  • Island Soul – 4869 Rainier Ave S, Seattle
    Mouth-watering Caribbean-inspired soul food (with vegetarian options)! Contactless pick-up available.
  • Simply Soulful Cafe – 2909-B E Madison St, Seattle
    Authentic southern recipes that have been passed down through generations.
  • Enat – 11546 15th Ave NE, Seattle
    Delicious, reasonably-priced Ethiopian food in the North End, including vegetarian options.
  • The Station – 1600 S Roberto Maestas Festival St, Seattle
    Black & Latinx owned business, employs POC and LGBTQ+ folx from the community, supports artists of all kinds. Food & coffee, including amazing signature drinks, and you can order online.
  • Black Coffee Northwest – 16743 Aurora Ave N, Shoreline
    Great coffee, and a drive-thru. They host local events and do job trainings and internships for Black youth. They’ve had to deal with a lot of gross racism since opening, so your support is important.
  • Slim Pickins Outfitter
    Okay, so this isn’t exactly local, but this Black-owned outdoor gear shop is the only one in Texas, possibly in the country. Sales have been way down since COVID, to the point where there’s a go fund me to save the location. If you’re doing your shopping online anyway, check them out!

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