Self-guided learning opportunities for Black History Month, February 2023
Planet is proud to celebrate Black History Month, as a time to listen, learn, and reflect on Black culture.
Black @ Planet and employee experience teams have identified a number of self-guided learning opportunities to engage in throughout the month and all year long. Many can be enjoyed from your living room and others encourage you to learn, engage, and create community IRL.
Wednesday, February 1, 12pm ET/3pm PT
Scholar Exchange: A Celebration of African American History and the First Amendment, hosted by National Constitution Center – Attendees will examine the historical context and the drafting of the First Amendment—focusing especially on the factors motivating America’s founding generation. Various types of speech, including symbolic speech, hate speech, and political speech will be highlighted. Students also explore how many groups who were denied rights used the First Amendment to fight for equality for all and in celebration of Black History Month, how key African Americans used the First Amendment to advance the cause of equality.
Wednesday, February 1, 12pm ET/3pm PT
Poetry Workshop: Photography, Protest and Perspective, hosted by African American History and Culture Museum a part of the Smithsonian Institute – Deepen your experience of the exhibition, Reckoning: Protest. Defiance. Resilience. and let it inspire your writing in this virtual ekphrastic poetry workshop. Ekphrastic poetry responds to a work of visual art-generally a painting, sculpture, or photograph. During the workshop, attendees will explore the many perspectives captured in a single moment. The workshop will be led by international slam poetry champion, Anthony McPherson. McPherson’s work incorporates various art forms, as well as a myriad of character impressions, to address race, art, and his own biracial identity. He’s appeared on Button Poetry, in HuffPost, and Upworthy, and has reached over ten million views since his first viral poem, “All Lives Matter: 1800’s Edition.”
Wednesday, February 8, 12pm ET/3pm PT
Four Harriets of History Program, hosted by National Constitution Center – Explore the lives of four American women—Harriet Robinson Scott, Harriet Tubman, Harriet Jacobs, and Harriet Beecher Stowe—who confronted slavery through literature, lawsuits, and direct action in their efforts to free themselves and others from bondage.
Friday, February 10, 11:30am ET/2:30pm PT
A Space for Us All hosted by African American History and Culture Museum a part of the Smithsonian Institute – The National Museum of African American History and Culture and NASA invite middle and high school students to join them virtually for an educational experience where they examine and build on the legacy of achievement, connection, and knowledge of African Americans at NASA. Astronaut Victor Glover will share his experiences and ideas about the future of space travel. He will be joined by NASA Directors Clayton Turner and Vanessa Wyche as they describe the needed skills of the future workforce at NASA.
This program will be broadcast virtually on NMAAHC’s UStream and NASA TV channels. They invite students to submit questions for the speakers. Please submit your questions for the presenters. All questions should be submitted by Friday February 3, 2023, at 11:59pm Eastern Time.
Friday, February 17, 11:45am PT/1:45pm ET
What is the Impact of Tech in the Black Community? hosted by The DuSable Museum of Black History and Education Center – Join Illinois Institute of Technology’s College of Computing, the DuSable Museum Black History and Education Center, and tech industry and education leaders who are members of the Divine Nine, historically Black Greek Letter Organizations, for a discussion on the impact on careers, connection, consumership, and creatorship within the Black community. Advance registration required.
Tuesday, February 21, 2pm PT/5pm ET
Art As We See It | Legends of African Photography x Music, hosted by MoAD (Museum of the African Diaspora) – This series of conversations by MoAD Docents celebrates the art and rhythms of the African diaspora by pairing visual art with music. The MoAD docents have searched online archives to bring you selected works from the legends of African photography and paired each piece with an afrobeat song of its own. You are invited to join their discussion via chat as they consider style, inspiration, political and cultural context, and highlight the textures and rhythms of afrobeat.
Wednesday, February 22, 3:30pm PT/6:30 pmET
Virtual Marquee Event: A Conversation with Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III of the Smithsonian Institution, hosted by ASLAH – ASLAH’s month-long festival of events will address “Black Resistance” in The Arts, the Black Press and the Black Church. As the-late Congressman John Lewis advised, “Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”
Thursday, February 23, 1pm PT/4pm ET
The Rebel Women of Mathematics with Talithia Williams – Discover incredible women of color who changed the world of mathematics forever. Join Dr. Talithia Williams, groundbreaking professor, author, host of the PBS series NOVA Wonders, renowned TED speaker and passionate STEM/STEAM advocate for an inside look at how women of color turned the male-dominated world of math upside down. From rocket scientists and code breakers to computer programmers and data scientists, discover the inspiring stories of more than 30 real women who fought through obstacles and shattered stereotypes to fearlessly pursue their dreams.
Thursday, February 23, 4pm PT/7pm ET
Historically Speaking: Next Generation of Black Leaders in Genetic Science, hosted by African American History and Culture Museum a part of the Smithsonian Institute – NMAAHC presents the third in a series of four discussions organized in collaboration with the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). During this program panelists will explore the work of a new generation of African American biomedical scientists conducting groundbreaking research. Chris Williams, STEM Education Specialist at NMAAHC, will lead a conversation with scholars Carter Clinton, Tina Lasisi, and Jameson Floyd.
Friday, February 24, 1pm PT/4pm ET
Teen Comics Chat – Black History Month & Love Comics, hosted by the New York Public Library – Join as three librarians talk about some of their personal favorite comics and manga that they hope you’ll check out! The theme will be comics for Black History Month and Valentine’s Day/romance.
The Black History Mobile Museum – If there’s no museum or heritage site near you, keep an eye out for the Black History Mobile Museum, which traverses the country all month and through the summer. Throughout February, you can find the mobile museum in several states, starting in New Jersey on Feb. 1 and making its way through 12 other states. See the full list of 2023 tour dates here.
The mobile museum will be close to SF office:
2/13 Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA
2/14 Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA
2/15 Diablo Valley College, San Ramon, CA
2/16 Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill, CA
Black Joy Parade – Oakland – On February 26th, you can admire floats, dance troupes and bands as they make their way from the start of the parade at 14th and Franklin streets up to 20th and Franklin streets, where the festival will take place after the procession. At the festival, enjoy live music, food and Black-owned businesses.
Honor Black History Month Around the United States – Find museums, memorials, live music, and celebrations of Black art and history in your state!
National African American Landmarks by State – Since the beginning of the 20th Century, the U.S. Government and most states have identified landmarks associated with African American history. Discover the African American National Historic Landmarks by state, as certified by the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.
Additional resources to engage in all year long:
Museum Virtual Tours
- Hampton University – Virtual Tour, the country’s first and oldest African museum.
- National Civil Rights Museum – Virtual Tour
Whether you want a primer on Black history, or you want to dive into a specific niche (like music, film, or activism), there’s almost certainly a documentary out there for you to check out. Here are a few films for recommended viewing this month:
- Summer of Soul (Hulu)
- Let The World See (Hulu)
- The 1619 Project (Hulu)
- More Than A Month (PBS)
- The Loving Story (HBO)
- Freedom Riders (PBS)
- 13th (Netflix)
- Who Killed Malcolm X? (Netflix)
- Is That Black Enough For You? (Netflix)
While there are countless amazing podcasts by Black producers and creators, here are a few that stand out for Black History Month listening:
- Historically Black
- Black History Buff
- Noire Histoir
- Witness Black History
- Code Switch
- Seizing Freedom
- The Life and Legacy of Frederick Douglass
Support your local library, many will have Black History Month collections for both adults and kids. Libraries will also often have Black History Month book recommendations by age. Check out these resources