Black History Month – Honoring our Black and African American Caregivers

Black History Month – Honoring our Black and African American Caregivers

During this month of celebration, the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee acknowledges and appreciates our Black colleagues who work alongside us each day to make remarkable things happen. Here at Valley we are introducing our Selfie Tapestry Project. This is the start of an ongoing project to connect with one another across our many cultural backgrounds and traditions at Valley. Our first campaign in the Selfie Tapestry will focus on honoring and celebrating our Black colleagues.

Black History is important because so many take for granted the rights that many people before them sweated, bled, and died to secure. All too often, only the most negative aspects of African American culture and communities get highlighted. We hear about the poverty rates, incarceration rates, high school dropout rates, and we are daily subjected to unfair stereotypes and assumptions.

When we observe Black History Month, we give all races the opportunity to learn about a past and a people, my people, of which they may have little awareness. Celebrating Black History Month allows us to pause and remember their stories, honor their humanity, and commemorate their amazing achievements to ALL of our history. Living Black sure ain’t easy, but being Black sure feels good!

Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper; The Water Dancer by Ta- Nehisi Coates; Born a Crime by Trevor Noah; Thick by Tressie McMillian Cottom; My Grandmother’s Hands by Resma Menakem

During this month I am able to think about the progress that has occurred since the emancipation of Black people. It’s been less than 60 years since the Civil Rights Act was signed into law. There has been a Black President & now a Black VP; which shows progress for some people of color, but not all.

Continued progress is still needed, and we can’t be complacent. We still need to improve our literacy rates, education, reduce violent crimes within our communities. I use this month of February to remind my Young Adult Children & grandkids of our past struggles and a future that will only get better through diligence. This month has also been a time to reflect on our Culture as a whole & how our Black History has helped ALL people regardless of Race, Gender, or Sexuality. Not just African Americans!

Movies: The Color Purple, The Temptations, The “Five” Heartbeats, “One Night in Miami, “Harriet”, 

Books: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: By: Maya Angelou, The Bluest Eyes: By: Toni Morrison,

Podcast: Oprah’s Super Soul Conversation

A reminder of everything our ancestors endured and overcame. It is a declaration of strength, a time of reflection and a celebration. Black history month reminds me how generations before me inspired generations today and how I aspire to inspire future generations. Black history month reminds me to be great, fearless and always spread love. 

Books: white fragility, post traumatic slave syndrome, stamped from the beginning.

Movies: The Color Purple, The Butler, 12 years a slave, Just Mercy, One night in Miami

Black History month to me is a time of celebration. It’s a moment that people are open to hearing, seeing, experiencing, learning and researching a culture that is unfortunately to often forgotten or unappreciated. I personally enjoy seeing others celebrate the past and present accomplishments of our culture. To know where you started and where you have made it to allows you to appreciate both the lows and high points in life. We cannot appreciate the sun without the experience of rain. 

Movies:  Just Mercy, The Hurricane (book and movie), The color purple, Friday, Next Friday and the Friday after next. Malcolm X, Roots, The Tuskegee Airmen, Hidden Figures, The Help, Remember the Titans, 12 Years a Slave, Fruitvale Station, Do the Right thing and Selma.

Podcast: Joe Budden Podcast. I’m starting a podcast called The Phonebooth Podcast soon. So stay tuned for that as well.

BHM is a reminder that Black history is American history.  It is a time that we get to acknowledge how far we have come as a nation and the tremendous work ahead of us in promoting equity, diversity and social justice within the African American community. It is also a time that we get to celebrate our accomplishments and remind ourselves how resilient we are as a people. 

Books: When Affirmative Action Was White; Hidden Figures; Dreams from my Father, Becoming Michelle Obama

Movies/Documentaries: I Am Not Your Negro, 13th, The Black Power Mixtape, Men of Honor, The Black Panthers, Freedom Riders, Selma, American Skin, Just Mercy, Something the Lord Made, Sarafina

This is the time to honor and commemorate people who fought for equality and inclusion of the African-American communities. The sacrifice and accomplishments of these great people is the reason we celebrate equality today. This is a celebration of love, respect, kindness and freedom among generations of our great nation.

Books:African American History/The untold stories – Yvette LongBecoming – Michelle ObamaFavorite African Folktales – Nelson MandelaMovies:Black Panther12 years a slave
Antwone Fisher

Black history month is a time of reflection and appreciation of the contributions African Americans have made to the world.  It’s a time to celebrate and show love & reverence to our ancestors and transfer legacy to coming generations.

Movies & Documentaries: A Raisin in the Sun, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Color Purple, Queen, Do The Right Thing, Selma, Hidden Figures, 13th, American Son, Dark GirlsBooks: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Help, The Women of Brewster Place, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Becoming, It’s Not All Downhill, More Than Enough, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Brown Girl Dreaming & To Build a Better World.

Black History to me is feeling honored that my brothers and sister who were forcibly taking from humbly homestead of Africa paved the way for me and many more in the black community to have a life based on equal rights. A new challenge based on Equity,Diversity and Inclusion and systemic racism is upon us. All of us Black, Asian or White we need to stand in solidarity to fight against a system that has been dragged along for far too long.

Books:1 001 things everyone should know about African American History, A Promised Land-Barrack ObamaMovies: Roots, Harriet, 12 years A slave

Black history is a time to embrace and reflect on my ancestors, and who I am today.  It is a time to celebrate my life as a black woman. It is also a time to reflect on the ancestors who have sacrificed and died so that my life, my children, and my grandchildren could have a better future. It is a time to remember the inequality and injustice that we have fought to overcome. Today,  the struggle for better jobs, better housing, better education, equal treatment and fairness continues. Until justice and equality are achieved our story is not finished. 

Movies:  “Do the Right Thing”, “Color Purple “, “Friday”, “Life”, “The Butler”,  “Drumline”, and “Jadas And The Black Messiah”. Books: The Dead Are Arising ( The Life of Malcolm X), A Piece Of Cake by Cupcake Brown,  Gifted Hands by Ben Carson M.D. ,  The Autobiography of Quincy Jones, Becoming by Michelle Obama. 

Favorite Recipe:  Homemade Dressing 
1 cup Aunt Jemima Enriched Yellow Corn Meal
1 cup all-purpose flour 
4 tablespoons sugar 
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 425 F.  In large bowl , combine corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Add milk, egg, and oil.  Beat until smooth, about 1 minute.  Bake in greased hot iron skillet pan, bake for 20-25 minutes, remove cornbread from skillet and place crumble cornbread in a large bowl.  

Next : 
2 tablespoons butter
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large yellow onion 
1 large green bell pepper 
1 tablespoons kosher salt 
1 teaspoon black pepper 
2 tablespoons of sage
2 tablespoons poultry seasoning 
2 large cups chicken stock, plus more as needed 
2 teaspoons granulated garlic  

1. Mix butter to sauté celery, onion, bell pepper, salt, garlic cook for 5-10 minutes until its soft. 
2. Add cornbread, sauté vegetable, and chicken stock in large bowl. 
3. Preheat oven to 425  
4. Transfer dressing mixture into cast iron skillet, bake for 45 minutes until it’s golden brown.

About The Author

Valley Medical Center's Marketing and Community Outreach Office