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February 01, 2023 - Announcements

Dear AMDA Community,

February is Black History Month and we invite you to join us in recognizing the importance of this year’s theme: “Resistance.” Historically, it has been resistance that forged a path for Black people to succeed while fighting for necessary progress in society.

National Black History Month originated in 1915, when historian and journalist Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). It was through this organization that Dr. Woodson (known as the “father of black history”) initiated the first observance of Black History for one week in February 1926. It was specifically chosen to include the birthdays of two iconic figures who heavily influenced productive change: Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. In 1976, ASALH expanded the commemoration from a week to the entire month of February. For years American presidents would issue messages acknowledging Black History Month but it wasn’t until 1986 when Congress passed Public Law 99-244 that February was designated as "National Black (Afro-American) History Month.” 

As political forces presently work to eliminate teaching Black History in schools, we know that active resistance against narrow-minded ideology like this is essential. Dr. Woodson believed that equality was only possible with the acknowledgment and understanding of a race’s history, and a large part of that was for people to spend time really listening to Black stories and perspectives. Black history IS American history. At AMDA we believe in the power of education and community and are actively reviewing our curriculum and productions for equity and representation.

We invite you to actively support the Black community beyond the commemoration of Black History Month, by supporting or volunteering with organizations like Black Girls CODE, Black Pac and My Brother’s Keeper Alliance. We encourage you to deepen your education by reading notable books including: So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo, The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race, an anthology edited by Jesmyn Ward, Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine, How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi and the 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones.

Let these 28 days serve as more than a moment, let’s actively embrace a movement of resistance!

In solidarity,

John Galgano
Chief of Staff