The Crier’s picks for Black History Month
The arrival of February means a couple of things: a drop in temperatures, Valentine’s Day, the Super Bowl. However, most importantly, it means the beginning of Black History Month, the national holiday to honor the neglected but integral role the Black community plays in American history and culture. In honor of Black History Month, the Crier staff shared some of their favorite Black artists and their work.
What is your favorite book by a Black author and why?
“My favorite book would be Misty Copeland’s autobiography because it really captured her struggles as the first African American Prima Ballerina at a professional level. I really loved learning about her life story.” Jamie Okulanis, ‘23
“‘Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave’ by Frederick Douglass. It’s very compelling and paints a brutally honest historical picture of America that we often like to skim over and ignore.” Johanna Selmeczy, ‘22
“‘Hidden Figures’ by Margot Lee Shetterly is a phenomenal read. It is really well-researched and developed, and tells an extremely important and compelling story.” Ella Saputra, ’23
Who is your favorite Black author and why?
“My favorite black author is Nicola Yoon because she writes books that always have such interesting storylines that make it hard to ever forget. She was the author of two books, ‘Everything Everything’ and ‘The Sun Is Also a Star,’ both of which have been made into movies.” Nandana Voolapalli, ‘24
“Maya Angelou. Her poetry is incredibly emotional in the best way.” Johanna Selmeczy, ‘22
What is your favorite song by a Black artist and why?
“I really like Tyler the Creator’s album ‘Igor’ which has a lot of my favorite songs such as ‘Earfquake’ and ‘I think‘. I really love his voice, and the vibe of his songs are really 80s and 90s esque. His rapping and singing are the best. I’m not a big fan of rap, but he’s definitely someone I’d listen to.” Sallaria Ansong, ‘23
“‘Purple Rain’ by Prince. It’s a classic.” Ella Saputra, ’23
“‘Halo’ by Beyoncé. It has good vibes.” Dana Khatib, ‘21
Who is your favorite Black musician and why?
“Florence Price definitely deserves more recognition in the classical music world!” Ella Saputra, ’23
“Kendrick Lamar, he has very meaningful songs that express a lot of strong emotions and very deep commentary on our society.” Jessie Hairrell, ‘22
“Michael Jackson. He’s legendary, and his music and influence are unparalleled.” Johanna Selmeczy, ‘22
Who is your favorite Black athlete and why?
“Kobe Bryant. A super influential athlete and his death impacted many.” Christiana Kirov, ‘24
“Sydney Leroux, USA women’s soccer team. She’s really talented and inspiring.” Maria Ahmad, ‘23
“Ibtihaj Muhammad, her story is very inspirational.” Dana Khatib, ‘21
“Simone Biles is just an unbelievable human. Her athleticism, power, artistry, and character are unmatched.” Ella Saputra, ’23
What is your favorite movie/show by a Black artist and why?
“‘Us’ by David Peele. Such a clever movie and has so much hidden meaning. One of the best made psychological thrillers, in my opinion.” Christiana Kirov, ‘24
“‘Sister, Sister’ by Kim Bass. It’s funny and one of my favorite shows.” Maria Ahmad, ‘23
“‘Grey’s Anatomy!’ Shonda Rhimes is a queen!” Morgan James, ‘21
Who is your favorite Black actor/actress and why?
“Lupita Nyongo. Her performance in ‘Us’ was incredible, and she really is very talented.” Christiana Kirov, ‘24
“Morgan Freeman, AKA God in every good movie. He is the best for obvious reasons.” Jessie Hairrell, ‘22
“My favorite black actress is Madison Bailey. She started on “Outerbanks,” and I absolutely love her. She’s super open about mental health struggles and how to reach out for help.” Morgan James, ‘21
“Kevin Hart because he has an amazing ability to take hold of any character that he plays, and he has an amazing sense of humor on screen.” Jamie Okulanis, ‘23