Happy “Move, I’m Black” month, y’all!
While our melanin magic shines year-round, it’s that time of the year when we flex our Blackness extra hard while honoring our ancestors, celebrities, past and present movement workers and current history makers.
I particularly loved this story from Black With No Chaser, a Black-centered multimedia website, about South Carolinian Cecil J. Williams, whose photography skills documented multiple desegregation efforts across the South. The author gave Williams a special nickname after admiring a picture of Williams drinking out of a whites-only water fountain.
“(Cecil) ‘F**k Yo Fountain’ Williams was so much more than a water fountain snapshot. Cecil was a chronicler and truth-teller who spent his career behind the camera so that essential and paramount stories of the civil rights movement would be told through a truthful lens, a lens that refused to be edited by whitewashing and pro-white American textbooks that often display a cupcake version of a movement that fought for black equality; that fought for black equity.”
I love when writers don’t hold back for the sake of white comfort. Dope.
Nobel-nominated Black Joy
Black history isn’t just about the past. Black History lives inside of us today. I mean, just check out 14-year-old Jada Brown who created her own streetwear clothing line in Pensacola, Fla. She’s making her childhood dream come true – as a teen!
We stepped into the first day of Black History Month with news that Stacey Abrams has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. The former gubernatorial Democratic candidate and political strategist queen has become the face of Georgia’s voter rights movement.
Through her nonprofit Fair Fight, she linked arms with other activists and together, they all replaced voter suppressions with voter engagement and voter shaming with community organizing. The people power of grassroots work spouted gardens of success.
According to Reuters, Abrams was nominated because her activism extends the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who also seized the Nobel Prize in 1964.
“Abrams’ efforts to complete King’s work are crucial if the United States of America shall succeed in its effort to create fraternity between all its peoples and a peaceful and just society,” Lars Haltbrekken, a Socialist Party member of Norway’s parliament said of Abrams.
Abrams wasn’t the only example of Black magic to snag a nomination. Black Lives Matter also received a nod last week for expanding the fight against racial injustice on a global scale — which goes to show that the Nobel Peace Prize list is looking mighty Black this year.
We hold the largest social movement in global history. Today, we have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. People are waking up to our global call: for racial justice and an end to economic injustice, environmental racism, and white supremacy. We're only getting started ✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/xjestPNFzC
— Black Lives Matter (@Blklivesmatter) January 30, 2021
Here are some more Black southerners who also deserve their shot at the Nobel Peace Prize, according to our audience:
Brittany “Bree” Newsome Bass – A North Carolina activist and artist who is known for scaling the flagpole at the South Carolina Capitol building and removing the Confederate flag in 2015. Clearly her activism work is still rolling.
Bryan Stevenson – Famed lawyer who founded the Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiave and whose passion led to the creation of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and Legacy Museum.
Catherine Flowers – an environmental justice advocate who won the prestigious MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” for using her “Black power” upbringing to challenge wastewater issues in her hometown and nationwide.
Relax with Black films
One of the things I look forward to every February is the different ways people honor Black History Month from celebrating Black cartoon characters who touched our childhood to honoring our favorite Black sitcom moments.
Susie Carmichael… an iconic lesson in Black History. On this, the first day of Black History February 1 Two Thousand…
Claire almost killed Vanessa this day in Black History🤣😂🤣😂
DO NOT have big FUN with the Wretched in Baltimore😂🤣😅
If you’re looking to celebrate this month through film, here’s a list of 28 movies minus the Black trauma porn. While overcoming slavery and Jim Crow may be some of the overarching themes of Black History month, we are more than our Black struggles. I may watch “Cinderella” and sing “Impossible” with Brandy and the Whitney “Greatest Singer of All Time” Houston as I did when I was a kid.
Use this month to amplify your own Black magic to the fullest degrees without apologies. See you next week!
How are you celebrating Black Joy? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your happiness and laughter with us! Also, take a minute to check out and join the Black Magic Project’s Facebook page where we celebrate and discuss Black culture and community.