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Black History Month isn’t simply a hashtag, it’s a time of year to reflect on the countless contributions African-Americans have made to science, the arts, politics, civil rights and more. Aside from celebrating Black excellence, it’s a great time for folks of all backgrounds to educate themselves on both past struggles and future possibilities.
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We’ve compiled some of the best Black History Month gifts that will entertain, educate and perhaps even enlighten. Whether you’re looking for an accessory to show off your solidarity or to learn more about important unsung history makers these, gifts are a great way to honor the month right.
1. For a memorable memoir: “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou
There are few debut memoirs that hit quite as hard as the book that made Maya Angelou a household name. Angelou recounts her childhood along with her brother Bailey, confronting bigotry, abandonment and overcoming challenges to ultimately learn how to love herself. It’s not just a poetic memoir it’s a necessary piece of the American literary canon.
From $7 at Amazon.
2. For an eye-catching tee: Martin Luther King Jr. graphic tee
The civil rights movement is rife with heroes but none quite as synonymous with the movement as Martin Luther King Jr. He’s even got his own holiday! There are tons of shirts sporting MLK’s face, but none quite as cool as this one.
$23 at Forever 21.
3. For celebrating all year long: This Day in Black History boxed calendar
Thirty days barely scrapes the surface of Black history. This boxed calendar made by Ebony magazine showcases important days in Black history for every day of the year from January 1 to December 31. It’s great for history buffs of all ages.
$9 at Amazon.
4. For aspiring literary giants: Toni Morisson sticker
Few writers were as unflinching and unapologetic as Toni Morisson. This waterproof vinyl sticker is made by a Black-owned business and is a fantastic gift for writers of all stripes to adorn their water bottles, laptops, journals or anything else they want to personalize.
$5 at Etsy.
5. For educating young minds: “Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History” by Vashti Harrison
For many students, Black history is still a topic that is merely glazed over in school. It shouldn’t be this way! This book helps kids learn about the role models everyone should know about from Sojourner Truth to Ruby Bridges. There’s a version for bold male history makers as well. If you’re looking for even more Black History books for kids, check out our definitive guide.
From $9 at Amazon..
6. For a legendary jazz album: Ella Fitzgerald Platinum Collection
Jazz is one of America’s truest art forms and Ella Fitzgerald is its undisputed queen. Fitzgerald’s voice was so iconic that even Frank Sinatra said during a 1959 interview that she made him nervous whenever he shared a stage with her. This album comprises 42 classics including “The Lady is a Tramp,” “I Get a Kick Out Of You” and many more.
From $12 at Amazon..
7. For a must-see documentary: I Am Not Your Negro
James Baldwin is one of the most prolific literary writers who was bold enough to tackle topics including race, politics and even sexuality at a time when doing so was a dangerous prospect. I Am Not Your Negro covers his unfinished memoirs Remember This House where he reflects on civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr. If you watch one documentary this month, make it this one.
From $0.99 at Amazon.
8. For a delicious history lesson: “Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora” by Bryant Terry
What’s better than a slice of history you can actually eat? This cookbook by Bryant Terry is rife with recipes that tell a story of food that intertwines with the Black experience. Recipes include inspired takes on classics like crispy cassava skillet cakes and jerk chicken ramen complete with breathtaking photos and original art.
From $12 at Amazon..
9. For a shirt with a powerful statement: Rosa Parks shirt
Righteous defiance is a powerful thing and few civil rights embodied this better than Rosa Parks. This shirt perfectly encapsulates the act that kicked off the Montgomery bus boycott started by who many call the first lady of the civil rights movement.
$20 at Amazon.
10. For a breathtaking art piece: Because Black Women by MKobyArt
Nothing ties the room together like a piece of art that tells a bold statement. This print by Black-owned business MKobyArt is fit to be framed and great for adorning any room for Black History Month but easily striking enough to keep up all year round.
From $42 at Etsy.
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