African Americans have a rich and powerful history. The spirit of black culture is incredibly resilient and although black people and their contributions are a key part of world history — in America our stories are glossed over in US History, and reduced to what can be crammed into the shortest month of the year. In addition to being a time to recognize black history, Black History Month is also a celebration of black culture as well as an opportunity to learn something new about black excellence.
What you need to know about Black History Month
In the United States, Black History Month has been a national holiday since 1976. It’s celebrated annually in February to commemorate the contributions black Americans have made to society.
During this time, people are encouraged to learn more about African-American culture and history, as well as participate in activities that are typically only reserved for this month.
Black culture is widespread in America. You can see it in fashion trends, food, music, film and television shows. From supporting Black-owned businesses to donating to charities and supporting anti-racism efforts to watching poignant documentaries, here are 6 activities to take part in for Black History Month as well as all year round.
Support Black-owned businesses
There are a number of ways to support black culture and black-owned businesses. One simple way is to shop at black-owned businesses throughout the year. Blacks make up only 5% of small business owners, so there’s a high chance that you’ll be supporting a minority-owned business every time you purchase something. Supporting these minority-owned businesses leads to more wealth within the community and ensures that money stays within the community as opposed to going out of town.
In addition, donating money to charities supporting anti-racism efforts is also a great way to show your support for black history month and beyond. You can donate your time or donate money or both! By donating your time, you’re able to educate the next generation on how racism has impacted society as well as inspire them with hope for a better future. In addition, by donating money, you’re able to contribute towards organizations working hard in order to ensure equal rights for all people as well as fighting against discrimination in all forms. Giving back is an excellent way not only celebrate Black History Month but all year long!
Learn about noteworthy Black figures and their contributions
Learning about noteworthy black figures and their contributions is a great way to celebrate Black History Month. The lives of these individuals are landmarks that have changed the world in some way. Not only do they serve as an example for the future generations, but they also allow us to learn from their experiences.
For example, it’s important to be aware of the many accomplishments Martin Luther King Jr. made in his lifetime, including when he shared his “I Have A Dream” speech with 250,000 people at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28th, 1963.
Purchase, read, and share books by Black authors
During Black History Month, one of the things you can do is purchase, read, and share books by black authors. You can also start reading books that include diverse perspectives and promote empathy.
If you’re looking for a few suggestions to get you started:
– “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas: This book tells the story of a 16-year-old girl who witnesses a police officer shoot her unarmed best friend. As she’s coming to terms with what happened and taking responsibility for telling her side of the story, long-held secrets are revealed about people in their town.
– “Citizen” by Claudia Rankine: This book explores how race shapes American society, beginning with an examination of how African Americans are under constant surveillance.
– “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” by Alex Haley: It’s hard not to have heard about this autobiography written by Alex Haley that tells the life story of Malcolm X before he became a Muslim minister and civil rights leader.
Visit museums that center Black history and culture
In addition to visiting a museum that features African American artists, explore museums that center African American history and culture. There are a number of museums in the United States dedicated to Black Americans’ history and culture. The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a newer museum in Washington D.C. that was established in 2016 for this purpose.
There are also many independent galleries, including the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institute which features modern art from Black artists.
Watch films or TV shows by Black creators
There’s a wealth of Black-made content available online. Take the time to watch these films and TV shows by Black creators. Not only will you learn something new about this culture, but you’ll be supporting Black creators.
Donate to charities that support anti-racism equity and equality
There are many organizations doing great work to make this world a more equal place. One of the most important issues for African Americans is overcoming racism and promoting equity. There are many charities that do work in this area, which you can donate to during Black History Month or throughout the year. For example, there are charities working toward transgender equality as well as ones that support black youths in their pursuit of higher education. Besides donating money, you can also volunteer your time to these organizations to help with their efforts.