February is Black History Month in the US. It's a time to reflect on the past of a people who have journeyed from slavery to the Oval Office and look at the heroes, sung and unsung, who made the transformative journey possible. It is also a time to look forward, for people of all races and ideologies, and to continue the quest for true racial equality in America. Apps are great educational tools so we've collected our favorite four that look backwards and forwards at this epic struggle to show by word and deed that all men - and women - are indeed created equal. If we missed an essential please let us know in the comments.
Then and Now Series: Black History
A look at the lives of 100 historically important Black people in a simple easy-to-use app, Then and Now Series: Black History focuses on the people behind the struggles and successes. Seek out more information on the names you'd expect to find or browse to discover lesser known, but equally important, figures from Black History. The app also allows users to print or share their discoveries with anyone who also wants to learn more.
Black History In An Hour
While Black History In An Hour is long overdue for an update it still allows those who want to learn more without investing too much time to get the most important facts on the most salient topics. This app goes beyond the US to the rest of the West and into Africa, but it focuses mostly on key events in the history of African Americans particularly during slavery. It's not meant to be a comprehensive eBook, just a starting point for discussion or further study.
Black History Facts
Another basic guide, Black History Facts does not focus on the struggle for racial equality in the US alone, but rather explores Black History from around the world. The app offers over 530 snippets of information including 15 that were added as recently as january of this year. The app's stated purpose is to foster deeper inquiry and provoke discussion.
The Root for iPad
Brought to iPad by The Washington Post and The Root, The Root for iPad looks not at black history as recorded in the annals, but black history in the making. This app aggregates relevant web news as well as curated commentary from highly respected African American writers. The app tackles the current implications of race in American society and myriad related issues. It even has podcasts on hot topics. The newest of the apps on this list, it's optimized for iOS 5 and incorporates a host of sharing features to spread the best stories around the web via social media to open debate... and minds.