Every February, Black History Month is observed to recognize, celebrate and honor the culture, and contributions of Black Americans throughout history
The Black History Month celebration dates back to the early 20th century, when Carter G. Woodson, a historian, and author, started “Negro History Week” in 1926. In 1976, this week was expanded to a month-long celebration and was officially recognized as Black History Month.
This year, as we celebrate Black History Month, it is important to acknowledge the significant impact that Black Americans have had on our society. From politics and science to art and culture, Black Americans have made significant contributions to our country. But it is also important to recognize that Black Americans have faced significant challenges throughout history, including discrimination, racism, and systemic oppression. The observance of Black History Month is a time to honor these struggles and to work towards a more just and equitable society.
In this article, we will explore seven ways that people can celebrate Black History Month, both individually and as a community.
Take the time to learn about Black history and the contributions of Black Americans in various fields, such as science, politics, art, and culture. Some many online resources and documentaries can help you learn more about Black history. You can also read books written by Black authors, attend virtual seminars and lectures, or visit a museum that celebrates Black history. By educating yourself, you can gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of the struggles, challenges, and triumphs of Black Americans throughout history.
One of the best ways to educate yourself on Black history is to read books written by Black authors. Some great examples include “The Souls of Black Folk” by W.E.B. Du Bois, “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” by Malcolm X and Alex Haley, and “Beloved” by Toni Morrison. You can also attend virtual seminars and lectures to learn about Black history from experts in the field. Many museums also offer virtual tours and exhibits that highlight the contributions of Black Americans throughout history.
Celebrate Black Music
Music has always played a significant role in Black culture, and celebrating Black History Month through music is a great way to honor the contributions of Black artists. Black music has had a significant impact on American culture and has influenced many genres of music, including jazz, blues, rock and roll, hip-hop, and R&B.
One way to celebrate Black music his month is to listen to music created by Black artists. You can create a playlist of songs from different eras and genres, or focus on a specific artist or album. For example, you might choose to listen to “To Pimp a Butterfly” by Kendrick Lamar, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” by Lauryn Hill, or “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye.
You can also attend virtual concerts or music events that celebrate Black music. Many musicians and performers are hosting virtual events in honor of Black History Month, and these events provide a great opportunity to support Black artists and learn more about the history and culture of Black music.
Watch Black Films and TV Shows:
Black films and TV shows are a great way to celebrate Black History Month. By watching films and shows that celebrate Black culture and history, you can gain a deeper understanding of the Black experience. You can watch classic films like “The Color Purple,” “Roots,” or “Do The Right Thing,” or watch modern shows like “Atlanta,” “Insecure,” or “Queen Sugar.” Watching Black films and TV shows is a great way to appreciate the art and culture of Black Americans.
Support Black Art and Literature
Black art and literature are powerful mediums that have been used to tell the stories of Black Americans throughout history. By supporting Black artists and authors, you can celebrate Black history and culture while also supporting the creative work of Black artists.
There are many ways to support Black art and literature during Black History Month. You can read books written by Black authors, attend virtual art exhibitions, or purchase artwork created by Black artists. For example, you might choose to read “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett, “The Water Dancer” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, or “Beloved” by Toni Morrison.
You can also visit virtual art exhibitions or galleries that showcase the work of Black artists.
Support Black-Owned Businesses
Another way to celebrate is to support Black-owned businesses. Many Black-owned businesses have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and could use your support. You can buy products from Black-owned businesses, order takeout or delivery from Black-owned restaurants, or use services from Black-owned companies. Supporting Black-owned businesses is a great way to show your appreciation for the contributions of Black Americans to the economy.
Volunteer for Black Community Organizations
Many community organizations work to support and uplift the Black community. By volunteering your time, skills, and resources to these organizations, you can make a positive impact on the lives of Black Americans. You can volunteer for organizations that provide educational and career opportunities to Black youth, support Black women entrepreneurs or advocate for social justice and equality.
Some examples of Black community organizations that you can volunteer for include the Boys and Girls Club, Black Girls Code, and the National Urban League. You can also check with your local community center or church to find Black community organizations in your area.
Have Honest Conversations About Race
Finally, one of the best ways to celebrate Black History Month is to have honest conversations about race. By engaging in open and honest discussions about race and racism, you can gain a better understanding of the experiences and perspectives of Black Americans. You can have these conversations with family, friends, coworkers, or community members. The key is to approach the conversation with empathy, respect, and a willingness to listen and learn.