Updated: Feb 28
The Black Future Collection looks back to see how to move forward in our fight for freedom and unity. It features 10 figures who have each shared a piece of the blueprint for freedom through their life work.
Download our free activity book that highlights each ancestor or elder and helps you to explore the "blueprint." It features coloring, activities, ways to dig deeper and a glossary.
"Speak Your Truth"
Unapologetic Author, Poet, Novelist, Speaker and Activist, James Baldwin, spoke his truth in every way. He had a deep understanding of American history and didn't sugar coat or "whitewash" the truth. He travelled the world engaging In conversations on how to make the Black Experience better. He didn't censor his work, his thoughts or his spirit; no matter how uncomfortable it made others!
"Black Owned Everything"
The father of Black Nationalism brought a message of black pride, unity, political and economic freedom to black people all over the world. Garvey started the United Negro Improvement Association, which fostered self determination, entrepreneurship and supporting the community. He started a newspaper, cruise-line, doll factories and more. He also created the Pan African flag that made red, black and green a symbol for black struggle, pride and hope. All of his work laid the blueprint for many of the great black leaders that we know of today. So be proud of your history, love yourself and love your people!
"Teach Our Children Freedom"
Professor, Activist, Author and Profound Thinker, hooks, is a voice for empowering education, intersectional feminism and fighting oppression. hooks has written over 40 books and thought pieces as well as introduced theories that have shaped the way people think about teaching, feminism and race. She believes that education should be taught holistically; that joy, inclusion and vulnerability is just as important as content.
Teaching children how to think critically and how to care for their whole selves allows them to be free!
"Tell Our Stories"
Author, Playwright, Anthropologist and Activist, Hurston told stories of black life through fiction and non-fiction work. She travelled the Caribbean and southern America to document culture. She was known for going against the political and cultural norms of her time; for example not wanting the integration that Brown v. Board called for and using rural/southern vernacular in her writings. This caused many of her books to be pushed aside until the 70s. However, we recognize her pioneering in the study of human culture and her unique ability to make her writings feel so real; we honor how she told our stories!
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"Do the Work"
Civil Rights Leader who fought for African American rights through protest, speeches and boycotts. He started as a activist, helping to lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which lasted 13 months. He was arrested over 29 times for civil disobedience but, never gave up on his fight or equality. He also helped lead the March on Washington where he delivered his famous speech, "I Have a Dream," earning him the title of "most dangerous negro" from the FBI. All of his work his dedication helped create the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a step in the still long road for justice. King is an example of if you want something, do the work!
"Share Black Experiences"
Novelist, Professor, Activist and Nobel Laureate, Morrison used her talent to discuss hard topics facing the African American Community. Part of her success was because she wrote about these topics so masterfully, eliciting true feelings about race, colorism, enslavement, trauma and mental health; without even naming them. She knew that In order to create change we had to talk about the real Issues we faced, even If It was uncomfortable to discuss. Morrison encourages others to share black experiences!
Dr. Huey P. Newton
"Help the Community Grow"
Leader, Activist, Doctor of History of Consciousness and Co-founder of the Black Panther (at only 24 years old), Newtons life work was about the betterment of black people. Newton and co-founder Bobby Seale, created a 10 point program which laid out the wants of self determination and government expectations as It pertains to black rights. Under Newtons leadership the BPP hosted many community programs like free breakfast and food, sickle cell testing, medical clinics and ambulances, self defense, community protection and more. Newton and the rest of the Black Panther Party truly showed us how to help the community grow!
"Live on Your Terms"
Revolutionary, Activist and Writer, Shakur was a member of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army. Shakur understood that in order to have BlackFreedom we must be willing to struggle for it and to struggle for it you must live. A constant target of COINTELPRO, Shakur was brought on on many charges but only "convicted" of one. However, her prison stay was short lived as she escaped and was granted asylum in Cuba. Shakur still has hopes for today believing that social change will happen with self-defense, self-determination; and more importantly raised consciousness and community building.
"Move in Your Purpose"
Actress, Fashion Model and Pioneer, Tyson exuded confidence and class. Tyson only played parts that showed the greatness of Black people and refused to highlight negative stereotypes. For example, she started acting In 1959 and took a step back during the blaxploitation era of the 60s. Finally making it into your field then taking a step back to stand on your morals can be scary but it paid off for Tyson; in 1972 she returned to the screen with her best work to date. Tyson continued to work on movies, tv shows and broadway play for the last 70 years and always moved in her purpose!
"Enlightenment = Unity"
Civil Rights Leader, X delivered a message of African American unity, pride and self defense "by any means necessary." X was self educated; during his 7 year prison stay he read books, debated and copied every word from the dictionary. X's enlightenment plus his learning of the Nation of Islam helped him see the struggles the Black America and the need of unity to fix them. His gift of oration quickly made him a well known, respected- but also- targeted leader. In 1964, X founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity which pushed for Pan-Africanism and the idea that black rights are human rights.
Thank you for sharing in this labor of love with me!