Today kickstarts African American History Month! This Friday commemorates a National Freedom Day, the day when the Thirteenth Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution.

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

The installment of this amendment began ratification of amendments fourteen and fifteen, which subsequently resulted in a redefinition of citizenship and the equal right to vote. The bill for the Amendment XIII was actually passed on January 31, 1865, and ratified December 6, 1865. Considering the entire month revolves around African American history, it makes sense for Freedom Day to mark the entire month.

Today also marks the start of this month’s theme for my site. I’ll be introducing several new things. For starters, I plan to immerse myself in the brilliant minds of the Harlem Renaissance such as Langston Hughes, as well as contemporary writers like Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou. Of course, we can’t forget the movers and shakers of the past such as Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, and Frederick Douglass.

I plan to share my thoughts and revelations as I learn more about a cultural history I’ve yet to fully enjoy. I’ll update this on Monday with the specific novels, essays, and speeches I plan to experience. Additionally, I’ll be exploring other aspects of African American History with prominent characters like Luke Cage, Anansi, Marie Laveau, and more. Stay tuned for Monday’s mythical post, where I’ll explore a rather marvelous individual.

I’ll be reading:
My Life As a Slave by Frederick Douglass
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
-select speeches by Martin Luther King, Jr.
-poetry by Langston Hughes
-assorted African myths
-essays by W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington

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