1. Read Letter From a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr.
"Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself."
4. Watch the cast of The Color Purple sing the title track.
5. Read "Ain't I A Woman," a speech by Sojourner Truth.
“If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again!"
7. Read "América," a poem by Richard Blanco.
"None of the black and white characters
on Donna Reed or on Dick Van Dyke Show
were named Guadalupe, Lázaro, or Mercedes.
Patty Duke’s family wasn’t like us either—
they didn’t have pork on Thanksgiving,"
9. Watch Lin Manuel Miranda's Tony Award acceptance speech.
10. Read Ursula K. Le Guin's National Book Awards speech.
“Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom — poets, visionaries — realists of a larger reality.”
12. Read "Allowables," a poem by Nikki Giovanni.
“Was only a small
Sort of papery spider
Who should have run
When I picked up the book
But she didn’t
And she scared me
And I smashed her
I don’t think
To kill something
Because I am
14. Read "An Open Letter To My Sister, Angela Y. Davis," by James Baldwin.
"The enormous revolution in black consciousness which has occurred in your generation, my dear sister, means the beginning or the end of America. Some of us, white and Black, know how great a price has already been paid to bring into existence a new consciousness, a new people, an unprecendented nation. If we know, and do nothing, we are worse than the murderers hired in our name."
15. Read "Sharks In The River," a poem by Ada Limón.
"Sharks are people too.
Sharks are people too.
Sharks are people too."