The United States has been celebrating Black History since the 1920s, when Carter G. Woodson, a Black historian, proposed Negro History Week. Then in 1970, Black History Month was observed after educators and students at Kent State University initiated it. There is a lot of ground to cover, and there are entire disciplines dedicated to African-American history. From slavery to contemporary activism and the Harlem Renaissance to hip-hop, Black people have had a deep impact on American history and culture. That’s a lot of literature to consume.
And let’s face it: As a country, we’re reading a lot less than we used to. We’re dedicating more and more time to screens on TVs, computers, and phones. But our technological evolution is not at all a barrier for getting our Black History on. Netflix has some pretty dope titles, from documentaries to biopics, that offer compelling takes on the African-American experience. Tackling everything from entertainment to the justice system, these movies and shows dig deeper into Blackness. So grab your popcorn and someone to chill with (it is Netflix, after all), and stay woke.
It's Black History Month, but at Refinery29, we believe in celebrating Black voices, Black art, and Black women 365 days of the year. Follow us on Instagram at @r29unbothered for more on issues that affect Black women's everyday lives.