By Gina Misiroglu
In recognition of Black History Month, it's been my pleasure to solicit articles for AOL's Black Voices and for Red Room from authors, each of whom has a unique and important take on the celebration. I hope you'll read each one, and leave a comment on their Red Room blog about what their thoughts mean to you:
For her tenth wedding anniversary, Shaun D. Landry listed her "Top Five Awesome Interracial Couples in Black History."
In "Intricate Part of the Whole," Judith Tannenbaum reminds us that "Black History Month honors the forces and flows that shape a people and our nation," and that her writing students, black men in prison, are an important part of that.
Michael Boatman and his family take a witty but thoughtful turn through African-American identity and progress in "Being Black with a Capital B."
Aberjhani asks how a revered black leader from the past would recognize accomplishments of the present and future in "What Would DuBois Do Today?"
In "On Our Way," April Sinclair considers what's been gained and what's been lost.
Drawing on stories from her parents' struggles, her own explorations of identity, and her son's prospects, Kirsten Imani Kasani shows what it's like to be "Young, Biracial, and Absolutely Not a Tragic Mulatta."
Storytime with her daughter raised lots of questions for Alice Randall. Read how she worked through answers in "Why Black Bedtime Stories Matter More."
In "Multiple Roots of Black History," Jewelle Gomez writes about how Native American and African-American backgrounds weren't always easy to reconcile growing up.
Deborah King Santana remembers her talented and brave musician father when considering her "Genealogy."
Charles A. Ray puts history and what is to come in perspective in "The Past and Present is Our Future."
Dolen Perkins-Valdez looks to cultural icons of the past and wonders "Will Black Artists of Today Transform Our Politics and Culture?"
We still have an article by Douglas Keister to present in connection with Black History Month. (Watch this post for updates!) You might say we're taking to heart Bernice McFadden's exhortation, "Don't Confine Black History Month to February."
Of course, Black History Month is just one month out of the year (the shortest, as more than one observer has written). These writers, and many, many more black voices, contribute fantastic, diverse blogs, articles, poems, and more every day of the year here on Red Room. I hope you'll enjoy exploring them all as much as I have.
–Gina Misiroglu, Executive Editor, Red Room
P.S. My colleague Huntington Sharp also collected some wonderful posts on essential works of African-American literature for a blog topic on the subject earlier in February. You can see that wrap-up here.