2019 served up a particularly rough Black History Month. All around the world, and especially in Virginia, people figured out how to shoehorn as much anti-black foolishness as possible into this, the shortest month of the year.
- The leaders of the state of Virginia reveled in what the Washington Post has accurately dubbed “Blackface-stravaganza”.
- The First Lady of Virginia took the opportunity of a children’s tour of the governor’s mansion to ask the only three African American children on the tour to hold pieces of cotton and imagine what it would be like to have to pick cotton all day – because only black children can engage in such an imaginative exercise. As if the physical labor was the worst part of slavery.
- A white woman assaulted a black family in Houston because they had the temerity to take their daughter’s one year old photo session on a walkway in a public park.
- And of course, in the world of fashion, Gucci released a nearly $900 blackface sweater.
After so much bitterness, I offer these books as a palate-cleanser. This list of 9 books offer pure, unadulterated self-love and celebration. There are no travails or obstacles; no one has to overcome anything. Just be you. Be happy. Be beautiful. And let’s have a Black History Month re-do from June 19th to July 19th.