I enjoy reading or watching the historical accounts and biographies highlighted during Black History Month and try to take it as an opportunity to listen and learn. I haven’t written as much on the subject this year as I’ve tried in the past because I’m trying not to write awkwardly, badly, or with accidental disrespect on subjects that are not my main area of research. (Always learning better ways to write and interpret with respect and honesty.)
So, I thought it might be nice to highlight three stories and links that I have found particularly inspiring over the last few weeks:
- Research & Historical Dress-Up
I saw something on the news last night that made me smile. (Video link here) Looking for inspiration from the past and finding creative ways to interact with accounts and biographies from history, this mother and daughter have studied the lives of influence Black women and recreated their iconic looks through costume and photography!
My mom allowed me to play historical dress-up as a way of learning, and I couldn’t stop smiling when I saw this news story. What a lovely way to explore and bring to light these women of the past and present who should be remembered!
2. Historic Dress
Yes, what you wear can make history. This video shows the dress that Carlotta Walls LaNier wore in 1957 when she went to Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas. One of the “Little Rock Nine,” she was one of the first Black Students to attend the high school. After facing severe threats and discrimination, she later returned to the school with an escort from the U.S. 101st Airborne. The video shows the dress that she worn during that historic event and includes a serious interview with additional details about what she endured and accomplished.
3. Civil War Nurse with the 54th Massachusetts
Oh, wait, there’s more to the story of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment than the movie Glory? Yes. Of course. Including the life and volunteer service of Martha Bush Gray who journeyed with the regiment and received the name “Mother” from the soldiers she tended in the field hospitals. I first learned about her in this article from Lighting The Way, a historic online archive focusing on women’s history in Massachusetts.
What accounts are you researching, reading, and finding inspiring during Black History Month?