Greer Welcomes Black History Month

Edwin Hammond, Staff Writer

The month of February brings in new ideas: Valentine’s day, dollar shiny plastic chocolate boxes, and black history month.  This black history month is different from previous in that we are witnessing the largest human rights movement since Martin Luther King Jr. ‘s death memorialized in black lives matter.  Here are ways you, and Greer can celebrate black history month.


Read black authors.  One great way to understand another person’s worldview and experiences is to listen to them narrating a story.  Classic or contemporary, there is a lot to learn from great stories no matter how similar or dissimilar you are to the author.  Some of my favorite authors happen to be black, like James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, and especially Richard Wright — Native Son is one of my favorite books!


Watch movies by black writers and directors.  Black artists’ visions in Hollywood are unfortunately and disproportionately underrepresented.  A great way to support black artists is to simply consume their art in whatever form it takes, films are just an example.  It doesn’t have to be an intense blaxploitation piece like 12 Years a Slave but can be fun and lighthearted like Black Panther.

Learn about a black centric historical event.  Similar to Hollywood and the literary world, our history is also underrepresentative of black history (hence black history month).  Many of America’s issues have roots along racial lines, and we are still experiencing the effects today.  Of course, all Americans should know about the horrific practice of slavery, segregation, and mass incarceration, but there is so much more to black history than the brutal eras.  One of my favorite eras of history is the Haitian revolution, and the jazz age is always fascinating.

Listen to black artists.  The most popular music today also happens to have black roots.  From rock and roll to hip-hop, very few music genres are exclusive from black artists.  Black music is more popular than ever, but still deserves extra respect during February.  Be sure to add some black artists to your Spotify library.