By Martina Conley, Community Life Coordinator
Black History Month is a time to reflect on and celebrate the trials and triumphs of African Americans in the United States. We kicked off the celebration with a focus on Black hair. Pam S.B presented a lunch and learn educating us on how to care for Black hair, the history of Black hairstyles that begin on the continent of Africa and appreciation for Black hair types. I asked Pam what was her favorite part about her presentation and she shared, “I enjoyed learning about more hair care and hair products. I’m learning there’s not just one hair type in the world. My favorite Black hairstyle is braids, especially micro braids.“ As a thank you to Pam for presenting, she was gifted some hair care swag.
Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) team curated a list of Black-owned businesses & products to visit and purchase on an ongoing basis. Yo Fresh Café’ in Evanston, IL had a variety of delicious desserts and snacks. One of our groups really enjoyed the frozen yogurt. Some people headed over to Target to purchase trail mixes and teas by Tabitha Brown and well as Mielle hair products by Monique Rodriguez. On the South Side of Chicago, people explored Chicago Boxville Shipping Container Marketplace with retailers selling books, teas, plants and more! Everyone is excited to continue to visiting places on our list while adding new places along the way.
Our next celebration was playing a game of Black History Guess Who. Participants gave fun, and sometimes challenging, hints to help our zoom audience guess and Black history hero. It was a great balance of fun and education. We had special Guess Who appearances from well-known heroes like Diana Ross, Muhammad Ali and Michael Jackson as well as heroes we weren’t as familiar with like Benjamin Davis and Medgar Evers. We had a blast honoring our heroes!
We closed our celebration with a Soul Train Line in honor of Soul Train, which was one of the first televised shows to represent Black people, Black culture, Black fashion and Black music.
This Black History Month was surely an ongoing celebration. Throughout the month many people realized that there was still so much Black History or learn and honor. We look forward to continuing the celebration through the year by reflecting on the contributions Black People have made to our everyday life.