Celebrating Black History Beyond February

Black History Month comes to an end on March 1st. Throughout the month of February, we spend time honoring the legacy of the African American community. While the official observance may be over, we can still continue celebrating and learning. One of the best ways to do this is through reading! Below is a list of books that offer education, insight, and hope.

Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation by Latasha Morrison

Morrison speaks on the intersection of race, privilege, justice, and the church by offering personal stories, prayers, and tools for healing. She opens the door to honest, difficult, and necessary conversations around race that must be had in the Christian church and outlines steps towards restoration.

The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

This is a novel about a high school senior, Ashley Bennett, living in Los Angeles at the time of Rodney King’s death. The story follows Ashley as she begins to come to terms with her own identity, the injustice surrounding her, and the tension of “us vs. them.”

A Garden of Black Joy by Black Table Arts

This collection of poems, interviews, and essays highlights the blessing and burden of black joy while offering perspectives on how to utilize it for the future. Some of the featured poets include Julian Randall, Quintin Collins, Tara Betts, and Donte Collins. Black Table Arts is an emerging arts organization that works to connect communities through public, artistic programming.

Human(Kind): How Reclaiming Human Worth and Embracing Radical Kindness Will Bring Us Back Together by Ashlee Eiland

Eiland compiles a collection of essays to share her story on what it meant to grow up as a Black woman living in two seemingly opposite worlds—majority-white spaces and majority-Black spaces. She offers a step towards hope in the tense division we find ourselves in today: radical kindness.

Written by Kathryn

2021 Graduate Intern

A Note from the Editor…

Kathryn has supplied us with some great books to further our understanding of race issues in the United States. I would like to add another book to the list.

I just finished reading White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo. In this book, DiAngelo challenges the reader to consider ways in which they contribute to sustaining racism and white privilege even when believing they are anti-racist and working for a society where all are respected, no matter their race or culture.

I recommend this book for readers who are willing to take a good and perhaps uncomfortable look at racism and their part in it. There’s a clear message that even “good” people can be racist. It isn’t about being good or bad. We are racist. We are born into this culture and are responsible to admit it and address it appropriately. Racism has an impact on everyone’s life. DiAngelo educates us and encourages us to break the habits that maintain racial hierarchy.

Louella DeVries, LCPC

 Louella DeVries, MA, LCPC President, Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc

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