top of page

Let’s Celebrate Black History Month- 5 Best Books, Voices and Historical Figures

Let’s Celebrate Black History Month- 5 Best Books, Voices and Historical Figures

Last week, I was recording a podcast on a panel about how we, as a community, can empower youth in our area and the topic came up about how can we better support specifically people of color, our LGBTQIA+ communities, and other disadvantaged people.

It got my thinking; how can youth feel empowered and hopeful about the future when there is under representation in the media. Outside of athletes and the arts, could you name 5 Famous African American business owners? Inventors? Millionaires? Change makers? Designers? I can’t.

Plus, since this is Black History Month, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite books, voices, and historical figures that should have gotten more credit than they did. Here are some of my favorites that help to bring awareness around racism, diversity, and celebrating People of Color.

In this week’s podcast I talk all about it, to listen click HERE.

In doing some research for this episode I found this awesome book recommendation blog. Check out the article 7 Anti-Racist Book Recommendations HERE.

One book that is on my reading list is How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi. This is one of the most popular books right now and I am eager to dive in and learn more. It got me thinking about the best books that I have read, which were written by people of color. The books, don’t begin to cover it, so check out the list below.

5 Most Influential POC Voices in My Life

1. Priscilla Shirer

Awaken: 90 Days with the God Who Speaks was the first devotional I ever actually stuck with. I have so many breakthroughs with this devo and I learned so much through the journaling process. My biggest takeaway was “seek and you shall find” God, peace, hope, laughter, a good friend, a message written in the stars. This daily devotional is the reason I started Conquer Your Pain, the reason I started speaking on large stages and the reason I have the courage to chase big dreams. Priscilla has directed and stared in several movies, written several books and devotionals and is a sought-after speaker.

2. Morgan Harper Nichols

Morgan Harper Nichols is a poet and artist who creates beautiful custom pieces based on stories, questions, or inspiration that people send her. She posts them on social media to share with the world. If are in the Cultivate Balance Community on Facebook then you have surely seen her work before. I often post her poems about hope, peace, and wisdom on my Mental Health Monday posts.

3. Daymond John

Daymond John is the creator of Shark Tank and several other businesses. He has written four books and he often shares resources and materials online to help other entrepreneurs. He did a 30 Day-Challenge last year that revolutionized how I thought about marketing my business and I am super grateful for all of the wisdom that he has shared. Plus, Shark Tank is a great show!

4. The Obama’s

Regardless of your political affiliation the Obama’s made history. Michelle Obama’s book Becoming was the number one best selling book for two years in a row and it was excellent! The issues she brought to light, her humor and getting a first-hand glimpse into life at the white house was so incredible and definitely a great read.

5. Oprah Winfrey

This one goes without saying Oprah is awesome, I love her. The End.

Bonus: Amanda Gorman is the poet from the inauguration and the Super Bowl. I expect her to be a huge influence in the upcoming years, definitely an up-and-coming person to keep and eye on. Her poetry is second to none. She is a Harvard Graduate and the Poet Laureate. Not to mention she has overcome a speech and auditory processing disorder. Talk about representation! Read more HERE.

O Magazine published this article as a part of their Black History Month Celebration and I really enjoyed it. 26 African American Historical Figures You Probably Don’t Know, But Should. Check it out HERE.

A couple of my favorites are Claudette Colvin who was the first person to take a stand on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. The TV Show Drunk History on Discovery, explains that Rosa Parks more famously took a stand because she was a social rights activist and popular human rights speakers but Colvin was actually the first to remain seated in the middle section of the bus and was consequently arrested for it. She was just 15 years old at the time.

Another incredible person was Bessie Coleman who was the first black licensed pilot in the world! She got her licensed in 1919. This was two years before Amelia Earhart. She paved the way for the Tuskegee airman, the Blackbirds and the Flying Hobos.

Perhaps my favorite on this list is Mae Jemison who was the first African American woman to orbit in space aboard the shuttle Endeavour! She is also a physician, teacher, and president of a tech company. She vigilantly works toward the advancement of young women getting involved in STEM fields.

Plus, check out the App EatOkra. EatOkra helps you to find restaurants owned by people of color. Supporting local businesses that are owned by African American’s helps our entire community grow stronger together.

In 2020, I took a stand to intentionally do more to celebrate the people of color, to support black owned businesses and learn more about how I can be a better advocate and ally.

Want to learn more information check out this article by NPR.

Feeling down in the dumps these days? You need some vitamin D, this Light Therapy Lamp is my favorite! This Taotronics light therapy lamp is UV free and works to make your body produce more vitamin D. Kiss SAD or the winter blues goodbye because this little light will help you to feel happier, more focuses, and it even helps you sleep better. Want to know the best part? It’s only $37 and Amazon Prime will deliver it tomorrow!

Sponsored by Light Therapy Lamp Click HERE.

Connect with Sarah Zastrow


bottom of page