Black History is American History
The theme for Black History Month 2023 is Black Resistance. To honor the legacy of Black Resistance, we offer a calendar of events to guide you as you celebrate each day in February.
Black history is American history. Some state politicians, public school boards, and Members of Congress try to divide us by saying Black history, stories, and experiences do not matter. Their racist ideas aim to keep people in our country from living in the blessed light of truth. We can demand that all of our stories are told.
Civil rights activists and educators gained equal access to education in this country in challenging times, and it can be done again. Together, by learning the scientific discoveries, literature, activism, and more of Black men and women, we will build an inclusive, multi-racial democracy where everyone can thrive.
Each November, the Catholic Church honors Black lives, achievements, and history. In November 2022, NETWORK featured the voices of Black Catholic Sisters (nuns). Read their reflections here.
Since African enslavement in the colonies, Blacks in America have faced racial violence, terror and abuse from state-actors and private citizens. Sadly, sometimes, there are violent incidents predicated by race that make national headlines like the killing of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, TN in January 2023.
We are called to stand together as one in God’s beloved community. This Black History Month, we hope you can use the calendar to learn more about Black people in our country. Challenge yourself to learn something new every day! Check out a book about a woman you are unfamiliar with, like Audley Moore featured on February 7.
Reflect on the joy that Trayvon Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, must have felt on his birthday (February 5). Say a prayer for them, and for the soul of their boy, as they mark the day he was murdered (February 26).
Attend a Black Catholic church or gospel mass at a traditional mass (pictured above is St. Augustine Catholic Church, the Mother Church of Black Catholics in Washington, DC). If you don’t have a Black Catholic church nearby, visit a service at another Black congregation near you.
Learn More About Black History and Racial Justice
Watch NETWORK’s Ash Wednesday Prayer Service: Lent and Reparations (30 minute video)
The Deep Need for Reparatory Justice NETWORK podcast (40 minutes)
Cornel West and Robert George on Black history, resistance and joy America Magazine podcast
An Interview with Fr. Chris Kellerman about his book,All Oppression Shall Cease: A History of Slavery, Abolitionism, and the Catholic Church