National Black History Month – February 2022

Greater Collinwood Development Corporation prompts our Collinwood neighbors to learn about and engage with National Black History Month, February 2022. Below is a short round-up of resources that can deepen our understanding of Black history in the United States, elevating the work of Black Americans and supporting Black-owned businesses in Cleveland and in Collinwood.

Explore AfricanAmericanHistoryMonth.gov 

Explore all things related to African American history at https://blackhistorymonth.gov/ a collaborative project website operated by The Library of Congress. Plan lesson content, share materials or simply educate yourself about Black history in the United States. Presented by The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institute, and the United States Holocaust Museum.

Shop Black-Owned Businesses
We know that shopping small and shopping local contributes to intergenerational wealth, creativity, neighborhood wealth, and equity. Greater Collinwood encourages you to take the next step in supporting our neighbors’ work by exploring these two maps during Black History Month and making a pledge to patronize these businesses year-round. One map features Black-owned businesses in Collinwood, and the other features Black-owned restaurants across Cleveland. Please feel free to email ksierra@greatercollinwood.org   ksierra@greatercollinwood.org for updates to either map.
(Shop Small! Black-Owned Businesses in Collinwood, Cleveland Area Black-Owned Restaurants)

View “Emergence” – New Work by Cedric Michael Cox, On Display Now at Framed
Located in the heart of Waterloo Arts District, Framed Gallery is an exclusive African American art gallery displaying emerging, mid-career, and established artists creating contemporary work in a variety of mediums. On display now through March 6 is a new solo exhibit, “Emergence” by Cedric Michael Cox. Cox is best known for his paintings and drawings that merge into surrealism and representational abstraction. To learn more, visit Framed Gallery online and visit the gallery during posted business hours.

Interact with New York Time’s “The 1619 Project”
“In August of 1619, a ship appeared on this horizon, near Point Comfort, a coastal port in the English colony of Virginia. It carried more than 20 enslaved Africans, who were sold to the colonists. No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the years of slavery that followed.” This is the opening of “The 1619 Project,” an ongoing initiative from the New York Times that began August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. The project features multimedia contributions such as “The 1619 Podcast,” photo essays, Smithsonian highlights, reader responses, and more. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of our national narrative. To interact with this ongoing project and to learn more, please visit The 1619 Project website.

Engage with Amanda Gorman’s Inaugural Poem “The Hill We Climb”
Los Angeles Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, now the first US National Youth Poet Laureate, recited her work, “The Hill We Climb,” at the Presidential Inauguration, January 20, 2021. Gorman is just 22 years old, a Harvard graduate and the youngest poet to be presented with this honorable task. Within hours, educator Kate Stevens developed a lesson plan to discuss the inaugural poem for grades 6-12. The lesson plan offers lots of analysis prompts that can be also adapted for adult journaling and creative writing. View “The Hill We Climb” and the full lesson plan on the PBS website. https://www.pbs.org/

Engage with American Scholar bell hooks
Best known for intersectional feminist theory, American Scholar bell hooks’ work ” Ain’t I a Woman?: Black Women and Feminism” (1981) examines the intersection of race and sex. Hooks, born Gloria Jean Watkins, September 25, 1952, spent much of her career articulating the interconnectedness of race, gender, sexual identity, class, and the impact of media on the Black American psyche. Later in life, Hooks articulated an ethic of love in which, “A love ethic presupposes that everyone has the right to be free, to live fully and well.” To engage with and uplift her work today is to strive for a more just society. Request Ain’t I a Woman?, and others at Cleveland Public Library.

Brush Up on African American Lit at Cleveland Public Library
Visit Cleveland Public Library at Collinwood Branch, E. 152nd St or Memorial Nottingham Branch, Lake Shore Blvd to request any of the following titles and for additional recommendations:

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the New Age of Colorblindness (Michelle Alexander, 2010)
How to Be an Antiracist (Ibram X. Kendi, 2019)
All About Love (bell hooks, 1999)
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
(Richard Rothstein, 2017)
March: Book One (John Lewis, 2013)
Sister Outsider (Audre Lorde, 1984)
The Fire Next Time (James Baldwin, 1963)
Their Eyes Were Watching God (Zora Neale Hurston, 1937)
The Bluest Eye (Toni Morrison, 1970)
Citizen: An American Lyric (Claudia Rankine, 2014)

Got a tip for us for resources to include and to highlight on social media during Black History Month? Contact ksierra@greatercollinwood.org to share your tips!

By GCDC