Four Online Workshops You Should Take to Engage in Black History Month 2022

Black History Month

February is Black History Month, an annual celebration dedicated to commemorating the challenges and achievements African Americans have had throughout history in America. Although we certainly have come far as a society, George Floyd’s tragic death and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter Movement was a wake-up call that systematic racism and inequality still exists today.

It is important now more than ever that we do our part to educate ourselves and others about the history of Black Americans, and the role they have played in shaping our culture and society. With increased knowledge and awareness, we can come together as a community to support Black Americans in the fight for racial justice and equality. As Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad said, “It’s not just Black history. It is American history.”

In honor of Black History Month, we’re highlighting some of our upcoming workshops that discuss themes of race, identity, cultural inclusivity, among others, that you can take to learn more about the experiences and history of Black Americans, and to pay tribute to this important celebration.

Check them out below and be sure to subscribe to our email list for 25% off of your first workshop!

1. Alternative Perspectives: Challenging the Eurocentric Narratives of Uncle Tom’s Cabin with Kenya Nelson
Critical Race Theory - Uncle Tom's Cabin
Counter-storytelling is one of the principles of critical race theory (CRT). It is also a tool for minorities and members of marginalized groups to tell their stories without a Eurocentric or majoritarian lens. Stowe’s classic novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was influential in impacting societal attitudes against slavery during its time. However, it also conceived negative African-American stereotypes that are still prevalent in media and literature today.

In this workshop, expert Kenya Nelson will discuss why multi-ethnic narratives are more accepted through a Eurocentric perspective instead of the ethnic narrator’s perspective. This is a safe space for students to tell their counter-stories in response to some of the main scenes that will be highlighted from this novel along with the characters' experiences. This workshop aims not to antagonize Stowe but rather to highlight the importance of counter-storytelling for general audiences to understand unfiltered multicultural perspectives better. In addition, students will better understand one of the tenets of critical race theory and how this can be used to create common ground between races.

This workshop will take place on Wednesday, February 9, 2022 at 7 PM ET. Sign up here.

2. Feeling Invisible: A journey of self-discovery through Ellison's Invisible Man for ages 12-15 with Dr. Sean Bogle

Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison - Kids

Exploring themes of racism, identity, and truth, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man brings readers on a journey of invisibility and self-discovery that poses a harsh critique of American society. In this workshop, students will be guided through how discrimination shaped the narrator's world views.

Instructor, Dr. Sean Bogle, will also facilitate a safe space in which students will be encouraged to reflect on societal norms and their own lived experiences. Through collective conversations, students will leave this workshop empowered to identify ways to create a more equitable society.

This workshop will take place on Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at 1 PM ET. Sign up here.

3. Feeling Invisible: Exploring Racism, Identity, & Truth Through Ellison's Invisible Man with Dr. Sean Bogle

Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison - Adults

This workshop is similar to the previous one listed above, albeit it is designed for people of all ages. Whether you have read Invisible Man or not, this workshop discusses the novel’s themes surrounding racism, identity, and truth as it relates to modern-day society and events such as the Black Lives Matter movement. Students will be challenged to think critically about today’s societal norms and stereotypes, to share their own unique experiences, as well as their opinions on how we can effectively counter racism to have a more equitable and inclusive society.

This workshop will take place on March 2, 2022 at 1 PM ET. Sign up here.

4. Un-stereotyping: “Decolonizing” Offensive and Racial Tropes in Ethnic Literature with Kenya Nelson

Stereotypes - Racial Tropes in Literature

 Are you a writer who wants to create culturally inclusive stories? Are you a reader who enjoys multicultural fiction / non-fiction but need to gain a deeper understanding of the author’s experiences as an ethnic or cultural minority? In order to read or write culturally rich stories, you must be able to put yourself in the shoes of other ethnic groups.

In this workshop, expert Kenya Nelson will discuss the history of various racial tropes and guide you on how to understand them in literature and the media. As a result, writers will learn to be more empathetic and critical when developing characters that represent members of marginalized racial and ethnic groups in America; and readers will learn to be open-minded and compassionate when reading cultural narratives from the authors who have lived the experiences of being in marginalized groups. Gain the tools and perspective you need to read and write multicultural stories effectively!

This workshop will take place on Saturday, April 9, 2022 at 5 PM ET. Sign up here.