March is Women’s History Month and invites us to celebrate the unique contributions that women have made to American History while also considering the ways that sexism has shaped our collective history. There are many resources for learning more about women’s history and women’s role in political life. Among them:
Black History Month offers us many invitations for learning. We’re encouraged to learn more about the contributions of individuals in history who may not have originally made our history lessons : black artists, inventors, authors…
We’re also encouraged to learn about American history through a lens of race relations. Understanding more about the experience of slavery, more about the experience of segregation and desegregation, more about the civil rights movement, etc. allows us to make clearer sense of how racism exists today and allows us more tools to address racism in our society.
Finally, Black History Month brings race into our collective awareness, providing us with more opportunities to directly consider race and racism and to commit to new strategies for anti-discrimination. This is a particularly interesting year, as 50 years has passed since the landmark Civil Rights Act was passed which made segregation illegal and paved the way for the Voting Rights Act and the end of the Jim Crow era.
Pete Seeger has died at age 94. His January 27th 2014 passing leaves a hole in the hearts of many but his legacy asks us to memorialize him by participating in our own communities and standing up for our common good with bravery, joy and music.