This is an email from Up to Speed, a newsletter by Momentum.
Black History Month is behind us and spring is on the horizon but as we head into the Ides of March here are a few things to chew on 1) Black history is American history and American history is Black history. 2) Let’s commit to learning more about the hidden history of Black folk in this country. 3) Continue the fight against anti-Black racism and be actively anti-racist year-round.
And, if it were up to me, the sometimes-performative acts that roll around that first week of February — like a popular book club going Black or a company publicly championing their DEI efforts — would be a constant because 28 days is not enough.
Here at Momentum, we put a call out for submissions around the little-discussed aspects of Black life and history that you, our readers, might be holding. The result was a series of stories we’re insanely proud of.
Advocate and documentary producer Edna Cummings educated many with her story about a group of forgotten soldiers. Isaiah McCall’s submission writes a deeply personal ode to his grandmother’s journey from the Jim Crow South to earning her PhD and becoming the dean of students at Fairleigh Dickinson University. I shared a story about one of many microaggressions I deal with as a Black woman and Stephanie Georgopulos, editor-in-chief of Human Parts, wrote about a snapshot (quite literally) of her Black history.
Don’t take my word for it, read up. Here are some of the stories you shared with us. Visit the Hidden History tag to read them all:
1. From Dirt Floors to PhD: The Life of Pargellan McCall, by Isaiah McCall.
2. The Tragic Story of the Arkansas Negro Boys’ Industrial School, by Marlon Weems.
3. The Hidden History of Black Women World II Vets, by Edna Cummings.
4. My Grandpops, Richard Wright, and the Chicago Post Office, by Momentum editor Adrienne Samuels Gibbs.
5. My Heroes Always Fight Colonizers, by Nadine Drummond.
6. Who Knew I Was So Terrifying, by me, Tracey Ford.
7. Getting to Know the History of New York’s Schomburg Center, by DarkSkyLady.
8. Gladys Bentley: The Tale of Harlem’s Most Famous Lesbian, by Casira Copes.
9. Do Not Disrespect Harriet Tubman By Putting Her on That $20 Bill, by Demetria Wambia.
Are you holding onto some hidden history or little-known facts about Black culture, politics, etc. that you care to share? Put that pen to paper (digitally, of course), tag #hiddenhistory and, if it’s the right fit, we’ll share on Momentum.