The month of February is Black History Month, which gives us the opportunity to celebrate the lives and achievements of the black community.
The origins for this began in 1915 when Carter G. Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). They advocated bringing more African American stories to life. This association still exists today, known as the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). They continue to educate and inspire communities all over the country.
To celebrate Black History month, you can get to know the stories and struggles of the Black community throughout history. Learning the actual history and not the white-washed version will also help us all gain a better understanding of the vents in our past as a country as well as recognize systemic racism. The more we know, the more we can help bring about positive change.
Many noteworthy black figures and black voices have paved the way for change in our world. You can learn more by watching movies, reading books, and educating yourself about history.
Now is the time to attend virtual events, support black-owned businesses, and donate to charities fighting for anti-racism and equality.
Events in Oregon for Black History Month
- UO African American Workshop and Lecture Series – “The University of Oregon African American Workshop and Lecture series connects national experts with UO thought leaders and change agents. It is focused on helping our campus better to understand the most promising practices in this area and utilizing their expertise to institutionalize more effective environments, practices, and policies.”
- UO Black History Month: Nuanced Noir – “Features a wide variety of events and activities engaging the myriad of identities and interests represented in our campus’s Black community. These events include Soul2Soul, an annual networking event at the Lylle Reynolds Parker Black Cultural center, multiple discussions exploring cultural trauma, a pop-up Black Excellence exhibit, a screening focused on Black American Sign Language, screening of “Public Plea,” and discussion around criminal justice reform in regards to Measure 11, and much more.”
- Peacehealth Stride for Social Justice App – “A PeaceHealth initiative developed in partnership with the Eugene Marathon – is designed to be a free, inclusive, family-friendly program that will engage and educate participants on the contributions, achievements, and milestones of Black residents of Lane County, and also highlight the injustices many have faced. Together we can stop the cycle of racism, building a more inclusive culture in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. It is only through awareness, understanding, and action that we can truly be part of the solution. And, only by looking back can we move forward.”
- Oregon Black Pioneers: Racing to Change Exhibit – A previous museum exhibit that is now available virtually. Visitors of all ages and backgrounds will engage in the examination of the repression and violence against African Americans that made the Civil Rights Movement necessary. The exhibit explores how racist attitudes, policies of exclusion, and the destruction of Black-owned neighborhoods shaped Oregon, as well as the unceasing efforts of the Black community to overcome these obstacles.
- Portland Jazz Festival – (From local music organization PDX Jazz) celebrates Black History Month with a series of concerts and events presented over two weeks every February.
- Cascade Festival of African Films – Billed as the longest-running nonprofit African film festival in America, Portland’s free festival has celebrated African achievements and hopes for the future since 1991.
- Portland Trailblazers Annual Black History Month Celebration – Join the Portland Trail Blazers in their annual Celebration of Black History honoring Portland’s Black and African American community. The event consists of many amazing performances and multiple fundraising efforts. This year’s fundraising effort goes to help the Black Educational Achievement Movement (BEAM), a nonprofit with a mission to build relationships with the youth of African descent and help prepare them for the global marketplace.
- Support Black-Owned Restaurants A directory to restaurants in Portland
For more resources, visit the links below:
Black Lives Matter – a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.
Four Black History Month Must-Haves – It’s not too late to put the best practices into place for honoring Black History Month in February and throughout the year.