A Selection of Readings for Black History Month

Marla Elsea
Feb 1, 2022

February is Black History Month – an annual celebration of achievements and contributions of African Americans throughout U.S. history. As we observe this month, we invite you to spend some time reading a few of the pieces featured in the Forum magazine's recent issues.

Forum's regular writer Tonisha Melvin (Mercer University) takes a look at health care in her latest Health and Wellness column, To Advance Community, Address Gaps in Health Care. In it, she encourages us to examine how race can shape the various aspects of our lives.

Growing up in the nation's capital, Clifford Thompson developed views on community that still shape his life and work. His essay Washington Stories in the most recent Forum invites you on a stroll down memory lane. He also authored What It Is: Race, Family, and One Thinking Black Man's Blues. Part memoir, part meditation on the cultural climate, it is a worthy contribution to the ongoing national conversation.

Author Stephanie Powell Watts considers the many forms of friendship in her Forum essay Friendship in Five Acts. She also wrote No One is Coming to Save Us, a chronical of an African American family conflicted by the realities of the American dream. She is the winner of a NAACP Image Award in Fiction.

In a book review from the summer 2021 Forum, Jessica Wiley (Arkansas State University) shares her thoughts about the book African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song by Kevin Young. More than 200 Black poets are featured in the anthology, and Wiley notes that "readers are planted in this world of turmoil mixed with affection" as they make their way through the book.

For additional reading, revisit this Black History Month piece that highlights a handful of Phi Kappa Phi members who've made lasting impressions throughout the years.

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