Were Cornrows Used by Enslaved People to Escape Slavery?


I’m including two links. One is the original article I read: How Cornrows Were Used by Slaves [sic] to Escape Slavery in South America, which details the idea that women braided escape maps into their hair as well as messages. The second article is from Snopes that doesn’t discredit this theory despite no tangible evidence. As been told, just because we don’t know if it happened, doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. There are many ways that African Americans used to keep themselves safe in order to survive slavery and emancipation from slavery, including communicating with each other and traveling north to freedom. Whether mythology or history, it is important to know all aspects of the African American experience from their arrival on these shores, almost exclusively involuntarily.

An additional thing that I learned in regards to language is that in South America this type of hair braiding was known as “cane rows” as opposed to “corn rows” because the crop there was sugar cane.

How Cornrows Were Used by Slaves to Escape Slavery in South America

SNOPES: Did Braiding Maps in Cornrows Help Black Slaves Escape Slavery?

One more link on the history of braids: Roots of Braid

Black Media & Black Culture


In a companion to my recent post Black History in Film, I’m sharing the NAACP Legal Defense Fund‘s link on Black Media & Black Culture. The NAACP LDF has put together a list of over 50 works recommended by the staff of the Legal Defense Fund. It showcases their mission to “defend, educate, empower.”

This single link offers links to their recommendations with how to view, read, or listen to them.

Included in the list are books, both non-fiction and fiction as well as for younger readers, television shows, movies and films, podcasts, and of course, music, which, as a white person, I say where would we be without Black music and its influences across every genre.

Visit your local library or e-library and see what’s available.

If you’d rather buy, this link will take you to a list of 149 Black-Owned Independent Book Stores.

In addition, Haymarket Books is offering three FREE e-books:

They also offer free books to the incarcerated through their Books Not Bars program. Donations for these programs can be made here.

As the Haymarket group said, “The struggle is long, but we are many.”

Black History in Film


I thought this was the perfect way to close out 2023’s Black History Month (although I have a few more posts that will appear throughout March – black history month is every month).

Slate article by Aisha Harris and Dan Kois: The New Black Film Canon

Their list begins in 1920 and goes through to 2022. They also include a list of the voters who helped create this list of the seventy-five greatest movies by Black directors. They also share where these great films can be viewed on streaming channels.

I wish I’d seen this during winter break!

Black American Heroes of History


Follow the link to read about 31 Black American Heroes of History**

In this link, you will find:

  • Shirley Chisholm
  • Bayard Rustin
  • Claudette Colvin
  • Annie Lee Cooper
  • Dorothy Height
  • Jesse Owens
  • Bessie Coleman
  • Robert Sengstacke Abbott
  • Ethel Waters
  • Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Alice Coachman
  • Gordon Parks
  • Jane Bolin
  • Maria P. Williams
  • Marsha P. Johnson
  • Minnie Riperton
  • Ruby Bridges
  • Mae Jemison
  • Marian Anderson
  • Rose Marie McCoy

** Please note: The article is titled 31 Black American Heroes of History. However, when I read the article they only list 20.