Why I’m Celebrating Black History, Not Just Black Trauma

While February is observed to highlight Black history, the reality is we are Black—and therefore celebrate our Blackness—365 days a year, and of course 366 days on a leap yearBlackness is not a synonym for trauma, but so often this month is used to uplift stories about Black people through a white gaze. Think about it, if you have a subscription to a TV/film streaming service, how many “Celebrating Black Stories” suggestions include stories that don’t center trauma or educating white people about racism?  
Gif of Kamala Harris
While you count, consider this quote from an interview with actor Daniel Kaluuya, who recently portrayed the late Fred Hampton in Judas and The Black Messiah: “Blackness and racism are not synonyms.”  
Racism is not an issue exclusively for Black people to solve or educate the rest of society. I’m grateful Jordan Lewis pulled a short list of films to watch during Black History Month that don’t center Black trauma on Popsugar. I also wanted to use this month to celebrate who we are despite an ongoing fight to achieve justice for Black survivorsfront-line workers, reproductive rights, among so many other issues. So instead of the typical history lesson, I thought it was particularly important to highlight our joy and creativity. With help from my colleagues, I curated a playlist to celebrate Black culture year-round.  
Check out the track list below then listen (& subscribe) to our playlist on Spotify 
Track list: 

  • BLACK PARADE – Beyoncé 
  • Black Excellence – SassyBlack 
  • Superpower – KIRBY & D Smoke 
  • My Best Life – PJ  
  • Savage Remix – Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyonce 
  • Do It – Chloe x Halle 
  • BROWN SKIN GIRL – Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, SAINt JHn, & WizKid 
  • Energy – Sampa the Great & Nadeem Din-Gabisi 
  • The Black & Gold – SAULT  
  • MY POWER –  Yemi Alade, Beyoncé, Busiswa, Moonchild Sanelly, Tierra Whack, Nija, DJ Lag  
  • Before I Let Go – Frankie Beverly and Maze 
  • Bra Off – Natalie Lauren 
  • Blessings on Blessings – OSHUN  
  • Lullaby – Tasha  
  • Virile – Moses Sumney 
  • MAKE IT HOME – Tobe Nwigwe & David Michael Wyatt 
  • Water Me Down – Vagabon  
  • I Am – Yung Baby Tate & Flo Milli