M9 is honoring Black History Month in many different ways this year so stay tuned each week for ways you can celebrate as well!
The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) designated the theme in 2021 to be the Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.
Established on September 9, 1915 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the ASALH are the Founders of Black History Month and carry forth the work of their founder.
The black family has been a topic of study in many disciplines – history, literature, the visual arts and film studies, sociology, anthropology, and social policy. Its representation, identity, and diversity have been reverenced, stereotyped, and vilified from the days of slavery to our own time.
The black family knows no single location, since family reunions and genetic-ancestry searches testify to the spread of family members across states, nations, and continents. Not only are individual black families diasporic, but Africa and the diaspora itself have been long portrayed as the black family at large.
While the role of the black family has been described by some as a microcosm of the entire race, its complexity as the “foundation” of African American life and history can be seen in numerous debates over how to represent its meaning and typicality from a historical perspective—as slave or free, as patriarchal or matriarchal/matrifocal, as single-headed or dual-headed household, as extended or nuclear, as fictive kin or blood lineage, as legal or common law, and as black or interracial, etc.
Variation appears, as well, in discussions on the nature and impact of parenting, childhood, marriage, gender norms, sexuality, and incarceration. The family offers a rich tapestry of images for exploring the African American past and present.
February 1 – 5, 2021
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Anyone who claims to be a leader must speak like a leader. That means speaking with integrity and truth.” – Kamala Harris
Honorable Historic Moments
Ruby Bridges probably had no idea that the bold act she committed in 1960 would set off a chain reaction leading to the integration of schools in the South. She was just six years old when she became the first African American student to attend William Frantz Elementary in Louisiana at the height of desegregation.
She is now the chair of the Ruby Bridges Foundation, which was formed in 1999 to promote “the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences.”
Inspirational Black Inventors
Marie Van Brittan Brown filed a patent in 1966 for the first-ever home security system after wanting to increase her own house’s security in her Queens, New York neighborhood. Her original design contained a camera, two-way microphone, peepholes, and monitors, all serving as the foundations for today’s modern systems.
Black-Owned Delicious Dining Options
Ben’s Chili Bowl
Sweet Home Cafe
Oohh’s & Aahh’s
Meaningful Black History Month Thoughts from M9 Team Members
What does Black History Mean to Me?
By Bree H., Sourcing Specialist
Black History month is an annual celebration of achievements by African American heroes. By recognizing their roles, we are rewriting U.S history and paying homage to those achievements. We are taking the time out to see what these wonderful individuals were fighting for as far as equality and justice. Black History month for me is about thanking those who paved the way to make my dreams come true.
Their sacrifices and achievements allow me to pursue my dreams and aspirations to help pave the way for the younger generations. It is a continuous movement of progression. Black History month is no longer being looked at for all the bad times. It is about integrity, leadership, and determination. It is about showing your true character.