Black History Month Observed: A Roundup

(Via The Amsterdam News)

(Via The Amsterdam News)

New York’s community and ethnic publications are offering a wide range of articles in observation of Black History Month, from Colorlines noting that the United States Postal Service is issuing a stamp commemorating Shirley Chisholm, the first black congresswoman in the U.S. and the nation’s first African American to run for the Democratic presidential nomination,  to Our Time Press publishing, complete with reproductions of historical etchings, a multi-part series of historical essays dubbed “Never Forget”.

The Haitian Times is running a compelling series of black history profiles, which pair noted Haitian and American figures.

The late American playwright August Wilson – who captured slices of the American black experience in such acclaimed plays as “Fences” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” – is profiled alongside Haitian playwright and poet Frankétienne, whose masterwork “Dezafi” was an underground success both at home and with Haitians living abroad.

Katherine Dunham’a accomplishments in founding the Negro Dance Group in Chicago and developing the Dunham technique of modern dance are contrasted with the folk and indigenous choreography pioneered by Lina Mathon Blanchet in Haiti. Journalists, jurists, educators, women rights activists and others round out the Haitian Times series.

The Amsterdam News is running a special 64-page e-edition, with numerous essays, bios and a timeline for readers. From artists to athletes to politicians, the people profiled in the publication give a multilayered and rich view of the black experience in the United States, past and present. The celebration of black culture offers “healthy soul food” while also exploring how reality TV shows may be affecting society’s perception of black women.

The paper also recently featured an article about the new director of Black Studies at CCNY, Cheryl Sterling, and the program of events she has scheduled for this month. Sterling would like the Black Studies department to be a center for studies about African and African Diaspora peoples. It will “promote greater linkages and cultural understandings across all the diasporas, including the often neglected Latin American, European and Arab-Asian worlds.”


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