Thank you very much for visiting the Democrats Abroad Global Black Caucus Black History Month 2023 Resources and Events page.
2023 Black History Month theme provided by the Global Black Caucus: Black Resistance in The Past, Present, and Future…
Black history is a living and breathing story of struggle and overcoming. It is both ancient and in process now. It is the summation and multiplication of Black people’s capacity for innovation and the will to survive and thrive in the face of relentless violence against our humanity.
Our story is chronicled over thousands of years of Black existence—beginning with the bones of Dinknesh, the great Mousian library, and the civilizations of Mali, Songhai, Kush, and Aksum. It has been likewise expressed in the untold revolts by those who were enslaved, and Black people’s persistent march toward liberation and freedom.
And, we are making history right now. The largest protest movement in the history of the world was birthed on these shores by our people who have declared that Black Lives Matter. Black people, and Black women in particular, saving the best prospects for democracy in the last election cycle is yet another testament to this fact.
Placing Black history in this context of past and present affirms that it does not begin with slavery (as this country is wanton to do all too often). This point of departure is also a reminder that history should not be merely relegated to the past, but that in this very moment, we are making history in a way that will impact the kind of future we will have together.
With this level-setting as a backdrop, I’d like to draw your attention to a set of questions that we've been reflecting on. They are questions that invite us to courageously reflect on our history, to be informed and intentional about the decisions before us today, and to embrace the idea that what we do now will impact the future we have together.
Looking back at generations past, what if:
- African civilizations never encountered European invaders and colonialism?
- Black people actually received their 40 acres and a mule?
- Slavery or Jim Crow never happened?
- Race riots in places like Tulsa, Memphis, Atlanta, and Chicago never happened? FDR made stronger and more explicit provisions for Black folks in the New Deal?
- The wars on crime and drugs—and the resulting rise of mass incarceration never happened?
- There was a way to revitalize our neighborhoods without gentrifying them and displacing Black people?
- The murders of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Emmitt Till, Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor, Felycya Harris, Mia Green, George Floyd, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Trayvon Martin never happened—and they were still alive?
Asking these questions in this way not only opens our imagination for what might have happened if people living during these times had chosen to do otherwise. It also invites those of us who are living in the present to consider the critical choices that are before us now—what they will require of us, their impact, and how people 100 years from now will reflect on what we do in this present moment. Given this, we are left to consider the ‘what ifs’ of our time.
What if we:
- Became a democracy that leads with racial equity and racial justice?
- Closed racial income and wealth gaps?
- See poverty (particularly Black poverty) as a systemic and societal failure rather than an indictment on individuals?
- Embrace a comprehensive reparations program for Black people that redresses America’s history of racism and allows us (and the entire nation) to heal?
- Convened truth and reconciliation commissions at the national and local levels?
- Design interlocking systems of education, health, civic participation, and economy that produce racial equity and racial justice?
- Established a new paradigm for wealth-starting with Black wealth?
- ALL Black lives really mattered?
And yes we invite you to have the conversations and share the knowledge you gather here with your family and friends, brothers and sisters, allies, or even the stranger sitting next to you on a bench….
We've put together lists of activities/events, books, films, and other information we hope you find interesting, inspiring, helpful, and educational. The resources on this page are intended to help you learn more about African-American History, and GBC issues and help you develop activities and events for your chapter or precinct.
The Black History Month 2023 Resources page will be regularly updated.
Where links are provided, they have only suggested sources. Please use the sources you are most comfortable with.
If you have any questions or ideas you would like us to include, please feel free to contact us at: [email protected]