Black History Month is recognized in multiple countries around the world. Every February, Black History Month celebrates Black culture and the community as a whole. Not only does America commemorate this month, but so does the UK, Canada, and the Republic of Ireland.
Black Culture Today
In many school systems around the United States, Black History Month celebrates historical figures such as Harriet Tubman and Malcolm X. By reading about slavery and the Civil War, Black History Month can sometimes lose its ability to connect with people the present. Since Rosa Parks, there have been many men and women who have changed and added to Black culture worldwide.
Musicians from Miles Davis to Beyonce have created a new wave of musical technique for the masses. Lindsay Guion, the founder of Guion Partners, has worked with well-known artists, including D'Angelo, CJ Hilton, and Ginuwine, to blend music and technology within the industry. This blend of style is both contemporary and classic while conveying a sense of timeliness.
History is being created right now. With progressive movements involving diversity and inclusivity, the world is changing at record pace. By capturing the culture today, Lindsay Guion and all current musicians can help preserve history.
Black History Month in America
The racial tension in America has always been alive. Over the past several decades, the United States has seen various manifestations of Black inequality, but it remains an issue today. This past year's Black History Month faced particular challenges that will not soon be forgotten.
Black History Month began in Chicago. It was 1915 when Carter G. Woodson traveled from Washington D.C. to participate in the 50th anniversary of emancipation. Carter Woodson formed an organization promoting the scientific study of Black life and history. By 1926, Black literature and achievement was taught at Hampton Institute.
Since then, a lot has happened. Recently, in 2018, Instagram created a Black History Month program. In 2021, Black History Month held events in person and online. Because of the spread of COVID-19, many people participated from home during the pandemic. Since the Black Lives Matter protests, many people are more aware of racial inequality and the community's injustices.
Virtual Black History in 2021
Black history awareness events occurred throughout February. Spoken-word performances and poetry readings were held across the United States. Javon Johnson performed his spoken-word performance, "Still," at the Pasadena Playhouse. It was also made available online on Playhouse Live.
Video sharing services also spread the ability to view Black History Month. A free Theatre West production featured seven actors and writers who shared life lessons and personal stories from their parents and grandparents. "Who I Am" is a production that aims to share what it means to be Black in America during this day and age.
Another virtual theater option included "Breathing Free" from the Heartbeat Opera. This was based on Beethoven's opera, "Fidelio," but as seen through the Black Lives Matter movement. Online performances showcased three dancers and eight instrumentalists. This modern take on a classic could be seen for a minimal amount of money online and reached wide audiences.
The city of Santa Monica provided online bingo with comedienne Angel Gaines. At noon on Rosa Parks Day, reservations were made to see Catherine Adel West discuss her new debut novel, "Saving Ruby King." Other organized events included a discussion about upcoming art projects commemorating the Historic Belmar Park.
Not all online events focused on current community action. UCLA's School of Theater provides early work from Black students in the 1960s that can be viewed online. This type of cinema is now known as the L.A. Rebellion and focuses on the Watts Uprising aftermath. The film archive has brought to light what life was like for many Black UCLA students during the Vietnam war era.
Filmmakers from the L.A. Rebellion were seen as creating a better society. By questioning received wisdom and their identification within other liberation movements, these filmmakers expressed Black pride through a different lens.
Celebrations in 2021
Throughout Black History Month in 2021, people celebrated in different ways. Some were able to visit playhouses with live performances to see poetry, music, and spoken-word performances-other people, bought from Black-owned restaurants and local stores.
Through the use of current technology, many people celebrated online. The pandemic has caused massive job loss, and with tighter budgets, staying at home may be the only option. The health risks from COVID-19 have also been particularly damaging to minority groups. These two factors alone made it difficult to go out.
Using online video platforms allowed for book discussions to occur across the country. Discussing culture with people from different states was made easier than it has been in previous years. Participation in the culture could be done from anywhere and was often celebrated throughout February.
Technology and Black History
Throughout Black History Month and Black history, itself, technology has shaped how we view each other. By the time Carter G. Woodson died in 1950, Black History Month was on its way. Throughout the decades since then, progress has been made through art, video, and music.
Lindsay Guion is a key figure in understanding music and technology innovations in the entertainment industries. By working with musicians such as D'Angelo and CJ Hilton, the creation of Black culture continues.