For Black History Month, some of the Black ministers in Unity suggested ways that all people can explore Black history in America and issues of justice and equality today.
The list below includes ways to celebrate and educate, movies and videos to watch, museums to visit (even online), and podcasts to check out. There’s even more to read, hear, and watch in the Standing Together Resource Center on this website.
These rich resources can be accessed anytime, well beyond the official Black History Month. We hope they serve and enlighten.
Ways to Celebrate Black History Month
For Those of African descent:
- Learn about the UN’s International Decade for People of Africa Descent, 2015-2024
- Learn about the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent (2021 Forward)
- Learn about the 400 Years of African-American History Commission
- Organize a book study of My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem
- Watch for PBS specials, festivals, and programs locally
Podcasts to Listen to for Black History Month
- Breathe, Baby, Breathe: The Fresh Air of African Values
- SoulTalk with Kute Blackson
- Touching the Stillness with Unity Rev. Paulette Pipe
- With Love and Justice for All with Unity Revs. Ogun Holder and Kelly Isola
Museums to Visit for Black History Month
Even if you don’t travel to these museums, their websites alone are rich with information and exhibits.
In Washington, D.C.:
- National Museum of African American History and Culture, part of the Smithsonian Institution, was established in 2003 to tell the American story through the lens of African-American history and culture.
- National Museum of African Art, another part of the Smithsonian, began in 1964 in a townhouse once owned by abolitionist Frederick Douglass. It is now on the National Mall.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, part of the National Park Service, honors Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s work for racial equality and oppressed people around the world.
In the South:
- The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration in Montgomery, Alabama, includes the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which opened in 2018 commemorating the victims of slavery, lynching, and Jim Crow.
- National Civil Rights Museum and the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, is at the motel site of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968. Its exhibits, films, and oral histories explore the Civil Rights movement then and now.
- The King Center in Atlanta is visited by nearly a million people a year to be inspired by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and learn about nonviolent social change.
- Old Slave Mart Museum is in Charleston, South Carolina, which was a hub for the domestic, interstate slave trade in the 1800s.
Elsewhere in the U.S.:
- The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway is a self-guided driving tour that winds for 125 miles through Maryland’s Eastern Shore, then continues for 98 miles through Delaware before ending in Philadelphia. It includes 45 historic sites on the Underground Railroad and includes the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center and the Harriet Tubman Museum and Education Center, home of the Harriet Tubman Mural installed in 2019 in Cambridge, Maryland.
- Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center in Niagara Falls, New York. Here, Harriet Tubman helped slaves escape to safety in Canada by train over the world’s first railroad suspension bridge at Niagara Falls.
- Harriet Tubman Museum of New Jersey in Cape May, New Jersey
- Underground Railroad Museum in Flushing, Ohio
- African American Museum and Library of Oakland in California
- Museum of the African Diaspora, a Smithsonian affiliate in San Francisco, California
- The new Greenwood Rising museum and the Greenwood Cultural Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A century ago, the Greenwood District in Tulsa was known as the Black Wall Street, a thriving business center and neighborhood. Forty square blocks were burned by whites in 1921, destroying homes and businesses and killing hundreds. Rebuilding continues.
Movie Recommendations for Black History Month
(Descriptions from IMBD.com)
- Ali, 2001— A biography of sports legend Muhammad Ali, focusing on his triumphs and controversies between 1964 and 1974. (Will Smith, Jamie Foxx)
- Amistad, 1997— In 1839, the revolt of Mende captives aboard a Spanish-owned ship causes a major controversy in the United States when the ship is captured off the coast of Long Island. The courts must decide whether the Mende are slaves or legally free. (Djimon Hounsou, Matthew McConaughey, Anthony Hopkins)
- Black Panther, 2018— T’Challa, heir to the hidden but advanced kingdom of Wakanda, must step forward to lead his people into a new future and must confront a challenger from his country’s past. (Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan)
- Colin in Black and White, TV miniseries, 2021— This drama series from Colin Kaepernick and Ava DuVernay explores Kaepernick’s high school years and the experiences that led him to become an activist. (Jaden Michael, Nick Offerman)
- Django, 1966—A gunslinger and a prostitute become embroiled in a bitter feud between a Klan of Southern racists and a band of Mexican Revolutionaries. (Franco Nero)
- Hidden Figures, 2016—The story of a team of female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program. (Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe)
- King Richard, 2021— A look at how tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams became who they are after coaching from their father Richard Williams. (Will Smith)
- Lee Daniels’ The Butler, 2013—As Cecil Gaines serves eight presidents during his tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affect this man’s life, family, and American society. (Forest Whittaker, Oprah Winfrey)
- Marshall, 2017— The story of Thurgood Marshall, the crusading lawyer who would become the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, as he battles through one of his career-defining cases. (Chadwick Boseman)
- Mississippi Burning, 1988— Two FBI Agents with wildly different styles arrive in Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of some civil rights activists. (Gene Hackman, Willem Dafoe, Frances McDormand)
- Roots, TV miniseries, 1977— A dramatization of author Alex Haley’s family line from ancestor Kunta Kinte’s enslavement to his descendants’ liberation. (LeVar Burton, John Amos)
- Roots, TV miniseries, 2016—An adaptation of Alex Haley’s Roots, chronicling the history of an African man sold to slavery in America and his descendants. (Malachi Kirby, Forest Whittaker, Jonathan Rhys Meyers)
- Rosewood, 1997—A dramatization of a 1923 racist lynch mob attack on an African-American community. (Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, Jon Voight)
- The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, 1974—Story of a black woman in the South who was born into slavery in the 1850s and lives to become a part of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. (Cicely Tyson)
- The Great Debaters, 2007— A drama based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College Texas. In 1935, he inspired students to form the school’s first debate team, which went on to challenge Harvard in the national championship. (Denzel Washington)
- The Learning Tree, 1969—A year in the life of 14-year-old Newt Winger, born into a poor black family in Kansas, who learns about love, fear, racial injustice, and immorality.
- The Tuskegee Airmen, 1995— The true story of how a group of African-American pilots overcame racist opposition to become one of the finest US fighter groups in World War II. (Laurence Fishburne, Malcolm-Jamal Warner)
- 12 Years a Slave, 2013— In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free Black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. (Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams)
- 42, 2013—In 1947, Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era when he is signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers and faces considerable racism in the process. (Chadwick Boseman)
YouTube Video Topics to Explore for Black History Month
- The Karen Hunter Show
- Dr. Stephen Porges on Polyvagal Theory and Healing Trauma
- Dr. Linda James Myers, Black psychologist
- In Class with Carr (Dr. Greg Carr)
- Resmaa Menakem