Today marks the start of Black History Month, a time to celebrate and commemorate the contributions and achievements of Black Americans past and present, as well as to reflect on their struggles and the work we still need to do to attain equity, economic justice, and racial justice.

As allies, we are especially appalled at Ron DeSantis’ campaign to whitewash African American history and contemporary experiences. Effective allyship requires those of us with broader perspectives on academic and business success to be ever-vigilant about educating our bosses, employees, peers, children, and friends about the importance of listening to and amplifying Black voices. We must be alert to systemic racism, and Black History Month reminds us to renew our commitment to uprooting it in all of its forms and building an inclusive society.

Contemplating Black History, we are reminded of wisdom from two influential Black Americans:

First, bell hooks‘ warning in Killing Rage: Ending Racism,

“All our silences in the face of racist assault are acts of complicity.”

Second, Shundrawn Thomas‘ counsel several months ago at the Toigo Foundation Gala in NYC about continuing to expand our worldview, paraphrased below:

1. Use your power: Pay it forward.
2. Make a sacrifice: Give of your time, talent, and treasure.
3. Open the eyes of your heart: Chose to see people beyond normal social constructs.

In this spirit, some of the things we’re reading and watching this month are listed below:

Hulu’s 1619 Project DocuseriesBoston University: “Black History Month ... Books, Films, Albums, and Podcasts”National Portrait Gallery: “I Dream a World ... Portraits of Remarkable Black Women”Innocence Project: “15 Books to Read in Black History Month and Beyond”