Welcome to BlackLight, a reflection on the Black Experience for Black History Month.
BlackLight provides resources to help you become more familiar with the Black Experience in the United States. These activities cover a wide range — conversations amongst friends, watching videos, listening to radio and podcasts, listening to key voices on social media. In just an hour each day, or a day each week, you can engage in these activities to help you think about and reflect on your role and understanding of the Black Experience in America.
Black History is your history; it’s our shared history. We live it, but we don’t talk about it, and we don’t reflect on our shared story enough. Some say that learning about the history and the modern issues of Black experience doesn’t feel like doing something. How do you do research without learning how to calculate something first? How do you write a novel before you can read a short story? An education is indispensable for action.
These resources are not comprehensive, and are necessarily incomplete: they don’t focus on any other groups in the United States who have an extreme lack of privilege, or upon whose shoulders and lives this country was built. These parallel (and often intersecting) stories are not valued any less; our focus on Black history is a starting point.
With privilege comes responsibility: in all of these activities, at no time is it the responsibility of a Black person or of any other marginalized group to provide information to you. The onus is on you to find a way to obtain the information or to develop a relationship with someone who may be willing, at times, to assist you.
Finally, we urge you to use what you learn during these experiences to engage with those around you, to focus on an issue, and to do something.
— Brian Nord, Lauren Biron, Renée Hłozek, & Lucianne Walkowicz: co-curators, BlackLight