A Message from Karyn

From the record breaking release of Black Panther to various forms of captivating content gaining national attention, we're sure to round out Black History Month with a bang!

Though Black history is American history and belongs in school books and history lessons all throughout the year, February allows us the opportunity to truly focus on the milestones we have crossed and to share the untold stories that many should hear. 

If you're looking to share Black history lessons with family members, students or colleagues no matter the time of year, check out any one of Sweet Blackberry's animated films available on Netflix or the "Printables" page on our website

We hope you enjoy this note and wish you a very happy February. 


Celebrating Black History Month 

In 1926, Carter G. Woodson, a noted African-American historian, scholar and educator founded "Negro History Week" later to become Black History Month. 

While many comment that Black History tends to fall on the shortest month of the year, Woodson chose February for reasons of tradition and reform.  It is commonly said that Woodson selected February to encompass the birthdays of two great Americans who played a prominent role in shaping Black history, namely Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, whose birthdays are the 12th and the 14th, respectively.  More importantly, he chose them for reasons of tradition.  Since Lincoln's assassination in 1865, the black community, along with other Republicans, had been celebrating the fallen President's birthday.  And since the late 1890s, black communities across the country had been celebrating Douglass'. 

Though Sweet Blackberry celebrates Black history all year, it's important to note Woodson's accomplishment of creating this nation-wide holiday. This month, check out this Black History Month crossword puzzle filled with information on well-known and lesser-known Black history facts. Click  here to test your knowledge. 

Have Sweet Blackberry Visit Your School! 

This month, our founder Karyn Parsons had the pleasure of visiting students and teachers in Augusta, Georgia, sharing Sweet Blackberry's mission and why it's important to incorporate Black History stories in every curriculum. 

Want to incorporate stories of African-American achievement into your lesson plans?  Sweet Blackberry will come to your  schoolto share these triumphant stories of individuals surmounting the odds and making invaluable contributions to our society. 

As you know, these American stories are rarely taught in our  schools due to the lack of time and resources.  Sweet  Blackberry's stories illustrate for our children the concept that tremendous obstacles are actually opportunities for greatness! 

To learn more about our  school visits, please contact us at  admin@sweetblackberry.org
What We're Reading

Tell Them We Are Rising

Last week, PBS aired an episode of Independent Series sharing the origins of Historical Black Colleges & Universities. 

The film explores the evolution of HBCUs over their 150-year history, their influence on black culture, how they educated students students such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Katherine Johnson and Toni Morison among others. 

If you have not had the chance to check it out you're able to view it for free on the PBS website
The Home Stretch! 

We're so close to having the Bessie Coleman project complete! This month, our founder, Karyn was extremely busy meeting with the illustrator and animator to bring this story to life. 

Remaining Kickstarter items will be mailed within the next two weeks. You can expect to get Bessie specific items once the film is complete. 

Stay tuned!
Why Representation Matters

This month, Marvel's Black Panther shattered records becoming the biggest February opening weekend of all time, biggest solo superhero launch of all time, the biggest grossing movie in North America by a Black director and the fifth biggest North American debut of all time among others. Without giving away spoilers, the story of Black Panther, it's cast and reception not only show the power of diversifying Hollywood can amount to but also why, for many young people, representation matters. 

While we're quite aware of the countless narratives surrounding Batman, Spiderman, and Superman, super heroes of color come far an in between. The Black Panther movie does not just paint an image of a beautiful African country filled with technology and advancements the rest of the world could not compete with.  Black Panther defies stereotypes. It shows children that they do not have to look a certain way or be from a certain place to be a hero. 

If you haven't already, we highly recommend you check out the movie. Let us know what you think. 
Book of The Month: 
Bedtime Inspirational Stories: 50 Amazing Black People Who Changed the World

This book of "bedtime" stories highlights the achievements and stories of fifty notable women and men from the 18th century to today. Some were born slaves, some grew up in poverty, and some had physical or emotional challenges. Some were born many years ago, and some are still with us. The stories in the book include those of political activists, scientists, artists, musicians, inventors, businesspeople, Nobel prize winners, and more.

Click here to learn more
I am the Queen Mother of Wakanda. 
I attended Yale School of Drama. 
I earned an Academy Award nomination, and a Golden Globe for my portrayal  of Tina Turner.  

Who am I? 
Tweet your answer to  @SwtBlackberry  for a shout out in next month's newsletter! 

The answer to last month's trivia question was Viola Davis! Congratulations @WeRArtemis1 for answering correctly.