February 1, 2021 - #CelebrateBlackStories

55.7K 938 1.7K

"The movement without storytelling is like birds without wings." - John Lewis

At Wattpad, we believe that stories hold power. The power to shift perspectives and bear witness to lives lived outside our own experience. For some, it's the quiet moments of recognition—to see yourself reflected on the written page. Black storytellers have pioneered the tradition of sharing through the spoken and written word, and during Black History Month, we celebrate and honour the storytellers who, today, are continuing that tradition on Wattpad.

We also acknowledge that for too long, too many Black voices have been silenced.

At a time when Black people continue to be disproportionately impacted by racially-motivated violence, police brutality, and mass incarceration... at a time when white supremacy continues to create barriers to education, healthcare, and creative outlets, it's more important than ever to acknowledge, honour, and celebrate the passion, creativity, and transformative beauty of Black storytelling not just during Black History Month, but every day.

What is Black History Month?
Black History Month originated in the United States in 1926 as a week long celebration meant to highlight and showcase pivotal events and figures in black history. In 1976, it became a month-long celebration set during the month of February in North America and in October in the UK. We continue to celebrate Black History Month as a way to not only reflect on the past and the wrongs committed throughout history but also to celebrate present successes, triumphs against the odds, and a bright future that we continue to work towards.

Why are we celebrating it on Wattpad?
On a platform that was created to encourage storytelling and sharing of stories from all people, we have to be mindful that sometimes despite our best efforts, not all voices are equally shared or represented – both on and off Wattpad. As such, we want to play our part in showcasing the rich and diverse voices, cultures, and stories that are present on Wattpad. We think that's something worth celebrating during Black History Month and year round.

These efforts would not be possible without the support of all of the writers involved, our Editorial Specialist and fearless project leader Grace Kabeya, BOLD Culture, who consulted us every step of the way, illustrator Chelsea Charles whose talent shines across the campaign, and of course, our community, for supporting #OwnVoices every day.

This year's themes:

Each week we'll introduce a fresh theme and reading list to help you discover and enjoy more great Black writers from around the world.

Black Stories Matter - Celebrating the stories created by writers of the Black diaspora across Wattpad. 

Black Love - Shining a light on black love stories in every form.

Black Girl Magic - Honouring the beauty and power of Black girls and womxn.

Black Pride - Lifting up LGBTQIA+ voices from within the Black community.

All month long we'll be celebrating Black writers and their stories with fresh reading lists, writer toolkits, and more. Follow us on Social Media (@wattpad on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok) where we'll be sharing lots of content throughout the month. Make sure you tag us in your posts using #CelebrateBlackStories #CelebrateBlackWriters and follow this page for a special community event happening later this month.

We're so excited to kick off this journey with all of you.

- Wattpad HQ

When day comes we step out of the shade,

aflame and unafraid

The new dawn blooms as we free it

For there is always light,

if only we're brave enough to see it

If only we're brave enough to be it

Amanda Gorman

Community HappeningsWhere stories live. Discover now