Black History/Black Futures Month: MEV Staff Picks
Much of the content below addresses violence committed against Black people. It also features Black people reclaiming, redefining, and reimagining their truths, histories, identities, narratives, and joy amidst the grief. Please proceed with care toward what feels right for you in this moment and please know that all of this is shared with love.
Black History/Black Futures Month is an opportunity to expand the ways we are honoring and celebrating Black leadership, wisdom, and joy.
Here’s what we’re reading, watching, listening to, and learning. Please share with us what’s at the top of your list this month!
(Most of the resources below are in English. If available in Spanish, it is noted.)
Things we love featuring members of MEV Cohort 5
- “The Future of Trans” Documentary produced by TransLash Media and Imara Jones
- Meridians: A Journey into Black Feminisms created by Black Feminist Future and Paris Hatcher
- “The intergenerational wisdom woven into Indigenous stories” TED Talk by Tai Simpson
- Movement Maker profiles featuring portraits of and interviews with Cohort 5. The complete cohort will be featured by the end of spring. (in English and Spanish)
Many people with uteruses, particularly Black folks with uteruses, go years suffering with debilitating reproductive issues without a proper diagnosis, and too often by the time they receive one, the medical industrial complex suggests a hysterectomy as the only option (we know that systemically this is rooted in medical racism and reproductive injustice).
We are whole human beings inside and outside of work. Take a moment to pause and reflect on what care you may be putting off for yourself and go make the appointments you need. If living through a pandemic has taught me anything, it is that we must be willing to invest in each other’s well-being.
Call your people, take your meds, move your body with joy, and breathe.
The Fibroid Foundation, an excellent patient-founded resource
Monica: Innovator, Historian, Dancer, Professional Auntie, Lover of Prince and Pop Culture
Resourcing Black Leadership & Black Genius: The Highland Project and The Open Society Justice Rising Awards are two of my favorite philanthropic initiatives. As part of a larger, long-term commitment to fortify Black communities and cultivate multi-generational Black wealth and wellness, both initiatives granted a total of thirty one awards with no strings attached, for Black leaders to use as they see fit, in recognition of the many professional and personal sacrifices involved in the demanding work of building movement. The Highland Project awarded $100,000 to Black women.
Watch: Tonya Lee Lewis’ documentary, Aftershock examines one of the most pressing and shameful national crises in the U.S. and the growing movement that surrounds it: Black maternal-mortality. My family is featured in the film. In 2018, our beloved Shamony Makeba Gibson, 31, died as a result of the failure of the healthcare system. While the topic is painful, the film uplifts the inspiring work of the families committed to ending this crisis. The film won the special jury award for Best Impact Documentary at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. ABC Disny
Listen: LOUD Podcast – The History of Reggaeton. Today, Reggaeton is one of the biggest and most commercially successful music genres. But few know the history of this vibrant political art form that was created by Black youth in Panama, Jamaica and Brooklyn. Legendary musician Ivy Queen narrates this amazing journey like no other. This podcast is so much fun!
Read: Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora [A Cookbook] by Bryant Terry. This collection of essays, visual art, playlists, poems, and recipes commissioned and curated from more than 100 chefs and spirits experts, artists, scholars, activists, journalists, and leaders. Black Food is mouthwatering, visually stunning and is the kind of book that belongs both on your coffee table and in your kitchen.
Black history is American history. Black history is Asian history. And our futures are all tied together.
- The 30-minute inspiration I need on reclaiming power, organizing with love, and being in solidarity: The Sunstorm podcast with Alicia Garza and Ai-jen Poo
- When I need some joy: Naomi Osaka’s and Simone Biles’ Instagrams
- I keep picking it up, read a sentence or two, put it back, and think about it for days: Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals by Alexis Pauline Gumbs
- Heavy on the playlist rotation: “Baby No More” by Anjimile, “Manga” by Mayra Andrade, “Summer 2020” by Jhené Aiko
Blackness x Children’s Books / Media:
- Craig of the Creek
- Afroresistance’s Children’s Anthology: A collection of stories by children for children
Blackness x Language:
- LOUD: The History & Journey of Reggaeton hosted by Ivy Queen
- The Voice of the workers: Fighting against capitalist exploitation and racist and patriarchal oppression. By a Carribean and a Latin American socialist: Recent Post celebrating bicentennial abolition of chattel slavery on the eastern side of Ayiti. (in spanish)
Blackness x Gender x Queerness x Disability:
- I’m a Wild Seed by Sharon Lee de la cruz
- Crutches and Spice – Imani Babarin: Disability Blogger |Content Creator | Public Speaker | Model | Actress |
- Zine: Unfuckable!: Unpacking Transness and Pleasure by Darielle Fernandez. (Preview Here) Darielle Fernandez is a Black Trans-Femme artist from Washington Heights. She’s a sexuality educator & college senior studying African American Studies and Education.
- Darielle is selling her zine on a sliding scale for individuals ($20&up) & larger groups ($80&up). You can reach out to them at firstname.lastname@example.org or @darielle333 on Instagram for more information & payment info.
This Black Futures Month, my family is centering on healing the past so that we may love vulnerably and expansively in our present and future. As a parent to children ages 3, 5, and 8 it’s important that we access stories, music, and dance that allow us all to connect to one another and honors where we each are developmentally.
Watch: Rise Up, Sing Out on Disney+