Christa Brown is a Black, Queer storyteller, actor, and public speaker with a passion for bringing stories to life that have often been under-explored.
Brown founded the Free Soil Arts Collective in 2019 as a means to bridge the gap to opportunities for artists of color in the Merrimack Valley and beyond. The mission of the Free Soil Arts Collective is to seed liberation through storytelling. The Free Soil Arts Collective curates paid opportunities for artists of color, in an environment that promotes and fosters care, agency, and exploration.
Nominated by Marta Bobinski, Lead Case Manager, Housing and Homeless Services, Community Teamwork
We are excited to honor Christa Brown for her leadership and the creative ways she develops opportunities for BIPOC artists in the Merrimack Valley.
Here is a message from Christa on what Black History Month means to her:
“Black History Month is a reminder to celebrate the past, present, and future of Black lives and our contributions to the planet.
Black History Month was proposed and launched by Carter G. Woodson. According to Vanderbilt University, “In 1926, Carter G. Woodson, both the child and the student of formerly enslaved people, proposed and launched the annual February observance of “Negro History Week.” He lobbied schools to participate in a special program to encourage the study of Black history. February was chosen for the initial week-long celebration to honor the birth months of two abolitionists; Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln.
By the late 1960s, thanks in part to the Civil Rights Movement and a growing awareness of Black pride and identity, Negro History Week had evolved into Black History Month on many college campuses. In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month. President Ford called upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
I charge our community to continue to spread the word of our rich Black history right here in Lowell, Massachusetts. It’s the perfect time for our community to formally acknowledge the significance of Black people in Lowell. Not many people know that Lowell High School was the first desegregated public school in the United States or that there are 34 Underground Railroad stops in Lowell, or of the life of Birdie Malbory, the first Black person to run for the Lowell City Council in 1979. She ran three times with her last run in 1989 and did not win. Someone threw rocks and set fire to her campaign office in two separate incidents.
These are facts that should be publicly acknowledged throughout our community. If there’s any time to begin teaching Black history in our community, it’s during Black History Month.
More info can be found here: https://www.likelowell.com/black-history-in-lowell.”
#CommunityLeader #Leadership #Appreciation #BlackHistoryMonth #BlackLivesMatter #DEIatCTI #grateful #LowellBlackExcellence