Category: Black History Month

“Dream”: A Poem

By Alexandra Smith                        – after Gwendolyn Brooks                    We think of lukewarm water, hope to get in it.   sunday morning sun shines through the open window to warm the tile, we bump hips and your Read More

Sankofa: Lessons in Returning to Our Roots

By John Broadway     A couple of months ago, a colleague of mine was about to present her life story. But first, she stopped to thank and acknowledge her ancestors.  When she did this, something in me snapped. Emotions flared, and I instantly teared up. That moment was a reminder that I’ve felt a Read More

Why You Should Capitalize the B in Black

An identity. A culture. A history. A community.  The Black diaspora is thriving and diverse in many ways, and the language that we use should reflect that. Language matters.  For decades, activists have pushed for the recognition of humanity in Black people and their experiences. A seemingly “easy” first step would simply be to capitalize Read More

“Not Far From the Tree”: A Poem

By Destiny Harris   Above cultivated humid soil, I ascend soaking in optimism. Underneath this soil, beads of courage are knotted into all of my fibrous roots. Through these roots, I am able to form a thick heart in this hollow trunk. From this trunk, hunger for self-control dangles in my mind like these scaly Read More

“Cornbread and Collard Greens”: Recipes for Sankofa

By Lillian Holden “Now, don’t forget to pour out the smoked turkey juice from the pot, and don’t use the turkey broth for your green. It messes up the flavor,” exclaimed my well-wishing mother over the cell phone. It had been two years since moving from underneath my parents’ roof, and after longing for a Read More

“Gardening and Sankofa”: An Essay

By Gary Williams Oftentimes during Black History Month, we tend to think of large looming figures in history. This year, I have been really reflecting on people closer to home, specifically history within my own family. The reason I have gotten into gardening is because of my grandmother, Marian Young. My grandmother came at gardening Read More

“2020 Don’t Look Back”: A Poem

  “2020 Don’t Look Back” is a spoken word piece by alum Ray Johnson (Cincinnati ’20), who performs under the name Silence Priest. This piece is part of Public Allies’ campaign to highlight voices of Black members, Alumni, staff, and partners throughout Black History Month.

“Being Black Is Lit”: A Poem

  “Being Black Is Lit” is a spoken word piece by alum Kwyn Townsend Riley (Chicago ’19). This piece is part of Public Allies’ campaign to highlight voices of Black members, Alumni, staff, and partners throughout Black History Month.

“Awakening”: A Poem

“Awakening” is a spoken word piece by alum Rajah Satterwhite (North Carolina ‘17): I gotta full beat face And a bigger waist Tip-toeing in my block heels Trying to cultivate hope so my block heals Every night I stay plotting awake These injustices too much, I don’t know how much more we can take Focusing Read More

“Race Day”: An Essay

[Content warning: Profanity] By Freda Epum You board a bus and it seems as though there is a sea of Black people. If it weren’t for the fact that your skin is brown, your hair is curly, your eyes are black and almond, and you’ve got a nice ass (or so you’ve been told), you’d think Read More