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  • Writer's pictureMallory Ann Shannon

Education is Elevation | Black History Month at Elevate

Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop introduced the concept that reading can offer us a mirror, a window, or a sliding glass door.

An advocate for diverse, multicultural literature, she shared, “Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created or recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of a larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books,”.

It’s no secret that our staff is made up of primarily white talent. As such, we acknowledge that we do have opportunites for growth when it comes to learning about Black History and experiences. At Elevate we have dedicated time to increasing our knowledge of all hair types and textures, understanding the different things they may require, and creating a space where diversity, equity, and inclusion is important.

Each day we work hard to ensure that we create a safe space where folks of any race can come and feel celebrated, considered, and cared for.

Instead of centering our voices this February, we wanted to find a roundup of diverse voices and stories that we can learn from and listen to. We’ve gathered up what we consider to be important pieces of literature that everyone could learn from. We highly recommend checking them out, this and every month.

A biography of one of the first influential women in the beauty industry and America’s first self-made millionaire. Madam C.J. Walker was a groundbreaking entrepreneur who developed hair products geared towards African American women.

A lesser known figure in the beauty space, Mrs. Annie Turnbo Malone founded Poro Beauty College, developed hair products and cosmetics for African Americans, and pioneered the importance of hygiene in women’s health. A student of Mrs. Malone? None other than Madam C.J. Walker.

145 portraits of both famous and lesser known heroes through Black History. These leaders made waves in all areas of life including activism, politics, technology, food, business, and medicine, to name a few. 

An influential voice for Intersectional Feminism, all of Bell Hooks’ are incredible reads. All About Love addresses our divided society, how a lack of love affects us at all levels, and what to do about just that.

A necessary read for anyone who has ever felt the burnout of grind culture and seeks to deeply understand the roots. Rest is Resistance isn’t a surface-level wellness book. Instead, it dives deep into what is upholding exactly what is tearing us all down and how we can dismantle it.

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