One of the goals for 2016 is to educate myself more on cultures that are different than mine. Black History Month seems like a good motivator to narrow my focus and read some Black* authors. I used to be one of those people who said things like “Well why isn’t there a white history month?!?!?!”. Thanks to some amazing friends, new experiences, and travelling I now view things differently. I’m still a noob, but maybe by the end of the month I will have a better understanding.
Some would say that I shouldn’t care about the race or ethnicity of an artist, but only care about the content of what they produce. Maybe that is true, but I am sticking to the old cliche writing advice to “write what you know”, and the people who know Black culture are going to be people who experienced it firsthand. In addition to authors I am going to listen to more music from Black musicians and research the lyrics to understand more.
So, I will be starting with W.E.B. DuBois’ “The Souls of Black Folk”. It was available on Audible and most of my consumption will be audiobooks. I start my bike ride again next week and will be spending about 30 hours in the saddle each week. Hopefully, I can get through 4-6 books in February. I’m open to suggestions but some other authors on my list for this month are Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr, Huey P. Newton, and Frederick Douglass.
There are many other demographics besides Black that I hope to understand better and devote a month of study to including, but not limited to, women, gay/lesbian, transgender, conservatives, Asian, southern, Hispanic, rural, religious, and straight-edge.
*I hope the use of Black is appropriate. Generally, I would say African-American but I am not limiting myself to just Americans or the American perspective on things. If this terminology is wrong please let me know, I want to learn.