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Monday, February 18, 2013

The Joy of Celebrating Black History Month with Macy's #IInconversation #BHMonths

Do you celebrate Black History Month?  I have to say I don't.  I don't not celebrate it on purpose.  I just don't really do anything special to celebrate it.  Since I started blogging I do make an effort to share quotes from Black people during February and from women during March (women's history month) Aside from that I don't do anything special.  So my recent outing to Macy's to attend a panel discussion entitled In Conversation celebrating the accomplishments of Gordon Parks for Black History Month was a nice departure.

I had a great time at the event.  There was a nice crowd and a pleasant atmosphere.  The wine and hors d'oeuvres were an unexpected and pleasant touch for a free event.  Before the panelist came out for the "In Conversation" discussion we were entertained by the University of the Arts Jazz Band.  They were really good.  Coming from me that is a huge compliment because as a rule I don't like Jazz Music.  I particularly liked the saxophonist.  He was really talented and got shy when he was photographed.

Here is a quick sample of how they sounded.

When the Panelist came out I was pleasantly surprised to See Kim Coles as the only female panelist.  I remember her from watching Living Single back in the day.  I was struck by how beautiful she looked.

The other Panelist included Mike D. (founder of Reelblack), and Joseph Lewis (writer and producer).  The other celebrity guess that I'm sure many of you recognized was Eriq Le Salle.  I'm sure you remember him from ER and also from Coming to America :-)

The discussion was great.  I had never heard of Gordon Parks prior to being invited to this event, though I had definitely seen pictures of him before.  The panelist discussed the impact Gordon Parks had on their careers.  Eriq spoke about how he wants to move from genre to genre similar to Parks who moved from photographer, to film maker and composer.  Eriq has made the move from Actor to working behind the scenes and is now an Author.  His book is Laws of Depravity.

Here are a few highlights that stand out in my mind.

  • Gordon Parks never graduated High School.  That never stood in his way he believed there were opportunities out there for him and he was ready to take advantage of them when they presented themselves.  
  • We have Gordon Parks to thank for Shaft!  The original 1971 version.  
  • Gordon Parks traveled the world drawing attention to impoverished people. 
  • The panelist encouraged us not just go along with the flow but to instead define our own box and even jump outside of it every once in a while.
  • The panelist encouraged us to keep pushing for more and not to settle.
  • The panelist talked a lot about living and doing business with integrity.
  • Audience Q & A with the panelist touched on the consumer's responsibility in supporting images that we do not feel are accurate representations of black culture.
  • There was also discussion of the youth and our responsibility to guide them in the proper and improper use of social media.   
  • Here is a bit of the conversation on Social Responsibility

Overall this was a great event.  I am so glad I was able to attend. It was really nice to actually do something for Black History month.  I think I'll look for more events like this during the culturally themed months.    #InConversation and the Gordon Parks #BHMonth exhibit is at Macy's all over the country.  Go here to find out when it will be at a Macy's near you.
Black History Month at Macy's

Gordon Parks photographs

Do you do anything special to celebrate Black History month? Have you gone to an #InConversation event in your area?  What were your takeaways?  What do you know about Gordon Parks?  Let's talk :-)

Oh!  One of the most fun things about going to the Gordon Parks event at Macy's was I got to make a new bloggy friend @mamlatinaphilly.  Head over to her blog if you want to read about the event in Spanish :-)
Me and @mamlatinaphhilly :-) 


  1. Kim Coles is awesome! And Eric LaSalle-- love him!! Looks and siunds like it was a great event!

  2. I must admit, I don't purposely celebrate but I am mindful. This looks like it was a great event. When I think about it, the more I learn of things that were done or accomplished by a person of color the more it boost my desire to keep on keeping on. Thanks for this post. I enjoyed it.

  3. Looks like you had a great time! Thanks for sharing, I am your newest follower from the tea on Tuesday blog hop. If you get a chance I would love a follow back!

  4. Sounds awesome! I'm looking forward to attending the same event here in DC later this week :)

  5. I wanted to attend this event but I had a long list of responsibilities to tend to:( My family does however celebrate Black History month but talking about our ancestors with the kids.

  6. Wow!! What an amazing event Arlett. It looks like you had a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing your experience.


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