To call the events of the past decade historic, especially for Black Americans, is an understatement. Most recently, poet and activist Maya Angelou became the first Black woman to appear on our very own American coin.
While each February marks a time to celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of Black Americans, we want to support our local communities this Black History Month in a few meaningful ways. From supporting Black-owned brands to promoting Black artists, there are plenty of ways you can make a change and spark a conversation beyond these 28 days.
Support Black-Owned Entrepreneurs
With plenty of reasons to support Black-owned brands, creating more opportunities for black communities should be a reason to celebrate this month. Your dollar can help contribute to creating more entrepreneurial opportunities for black families. With the success of indie beauty brands from skin, hair to makeup taking over the online marketplace, there’s more visibility and power of diversity with the help of your purchases. Scroll through the hashtag #blackowned to find some of the best hidden locally-owned shops making an impact with their business.
Celebrate Black Fashion
An excellent place to start is with fashion; many of the contemporary trends that saturate our social media feeds have their roots in Black history. Many Black-owned businesses continue to endure systemic racism and face challenges leading up to the pandemic, with more black companies facing closures. From Black-owned clothing brands, fashion designers to Black stylists, it’s time to break barriers with some of the most iconic styles to come out from Black creatives.
Indulge in Black Art
Get inspired by some amazing Black creatives at The Black Art Expo with brilliant artwork and thought-provoking pieces focusing on our Black heritage. The Instagram page is one of many spaces for Black artists to freely showcase their artistic vision. With plenty of in-person and virtual art exhibits around the country displaying Black artists, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Google Arts and Culture will also be showcasing outstanding work by Black artists to explore the history of race in America.
Donate to Charities
Needless to say, donating to the right charity can help support anti-racism. Daily, the black community in the United States endure discrimination. Charities that make an impact can empower and fight for racial justice to honor Black History Month. Organizations that push their collective work to seek justice need your support and publicity. A few non-profit organizations to reach out to include Black Girls CODE, Boys and Girls Club of America, The Black AIDS Institute, and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
Educate Yourself on Historical Black Figures
To honor the triumphs and struggles of African Americans, major well-known personalities are in the spotlight each year. Martin Luther King Jr. and activist Rosa Parks are possibly the most renowned African Americans in history. While there are plenty of influential African Americans to celebrate this month, a list of notable pioneers can be found on BlackPast.org. This month is a time for reflection for all of us to look back on more prominent figures both past and present.
Listen to Black Artists
Black artists are disproportionately outnumbered in various creative businesses, this includes your top music artists. With one song at a time, your favorite track this month should support the artists who are lending a voice to the community. From your local radio station to Spotify’s Black artists' playlists, celebrate the global impact of black composers and amplify these voices.
Try out Black-Founded Snack Brands
What better way to commemorate Black History Month than to stock your pantry snacks with some of the best black-owned food companies? From granola bars, premium coffee, ice cream, beef jerky, and more pantry staples, your local grocery stop is a great way to support the Black community while also stocking your shelves with high-quality snacks you and your kids will love.
Read Black Authors with Kids
One of the special ways to teach young children about Black history is through storytime filled with fun facts. There are a few noteworthy children’s books from The ABCs of Black History, Little Leaders: Bold Black Women in History, Sing a Song and Juneteenth For Mazie are all significant books that can be passed down from generation to generation. These exceptional stories will inspire our children on the history of trail-blazing Black legends.
Cook Authentic Recipes from Black Diaspora Regions
Making and eating a culture's food is one of the best ways to learn about it! Take a look at some of the most delicious African cuisine and see what you can cook with your family for dinner tonight. Choose a few recipes to test out and have your child join in on the cooking. Try out an traditional recipes from around the globe like the African one-pan lemon chicken recipe, Bahamian peas n' rice or even Ethiopian beef tibs, and bring in rich aromas and exquisite flavors into your dining room.
With countless possibilities for everyone to participate, this year celebrate major achievements from the African-American community from the comfort of your home.