In the spirit of celebrating Black History Month in 2022, The Brunswickan consulted Black Lives Matter Fredericton’s website to gather some insight on their reading lists, movie recommendations, and favourite podcasts. The site has a ton to choose from, with each section offering deep dives on a number of topics in the fields of politics, culture, and history.
One of their must-watch recommendations is “The Hate U Give,” a movie adapted from the New York Times bestselling novel of the same name by Angie Thomas. The story is inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and follows sixteen-year-old Starr Carter. Starr is a witness to the death of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a white police officer. Khalil was unarmed. While trying to cope with Khalil’s death, Starr is left to juggle two very different worlds: the working-class neighbourhood where she lives and the upper-class, mostly white prep school that she attends as a student. This coming-of-age story continues the discussion about police brutality, teenage angst, friendship, family, and racism. Both the book and the movie are a good introduction to difficult topics while being informative and emotional, so make sure to check them out if you haven’t already!
Another must-watch on BLM’s list is “The Grapevine” Youtube channel. The show provides a fresh take on panel-style discussions and welcomes a number of young and talented artists, cultural innovators, and professionals as they engage in conversations related to race, gender, sexual politics, colononialism, and the Black experience in the United Sates.
One of the channel’s most recent episodes features a guest spot from actress Logan Browning, best known for her role as Samantha White in Netflix’s Dear White People. The episode, titled “If I Ruled The World,” took on issues related to self-care and mental health. The panel discussed such methods as meditation, mindfulness practices, and the racial inequalities baked into the systems of healthcare and social service.
Guest speaker Dr. Mariel Buque also joined in on the conversation, sharing the fact that, “racism is intertwined with economics.” The inseparability of race, economy, and political action directly affects Black communities and families. Today, a disproportionate number of BIPOC people live below the poverty line, making it difficult for them to access therapy and actively participate in their own self-healing process. If you’re interested to learn more, check out “The Grapevine” on Youtube for more insightful discussions!
Another way to participate in Black History Month is by listening to educational podcasts. One of our favourites was “Seeing White,” a show produced by Scene on Radio. The podcast turns the popular discourse on its head, taking a critical lens to white America and analyzing the notion of “whiteness” as a constructed social category. It challenges and asks questions about the political origins of the term “the white race,” arguing that its continued use in popular culture serves pertinent political purposes: white supremacy at the expense of people of colour. The podcast is very different in tone from both “The Hate U Give” and “The Grapevine.” “Seeing White” tackles issues related to Black history from an analytical and intellectual lens, providing listeners with lecture-style talks and seminars. “Seeing White” is an informative podcast and it thoroughly explains why some ideologies, languages, and perspectives must be unlearned.
For a full list of books, movies, podcasts, music, and a number of other resources, please visit https://www.blmfredericton.ca/.