We’re almost halfway through Black History Month 2021 and I’m constantly asked for tips and suggestions on how people can celebrate the month. In the past, I’ve shared numerous posts on Black achievements throughout the years, but I don’t think I’ll be doing that this year. I’ve reshared some things that I’ve seen other Black creatives post, but I decided to do things a bit differently this year. Instead, I wanted to encourage you to do the work and I’ll assist you in starting that process with five ways you can celebrate and honor Black History Month.
Educate yourself – I don’t mind find the nearest Black person and start asking them things either. Google is free. Libraries may not be open for in-person browsing, but there are tons of online resources and this is the perfect time to learn more about the 1619 project, to learn about the Tuskegee experiment, to learn about the Womanist movement, to find out more about Henrietta Lacks, Black Wall Street, read Martin Luther King Jr’s OTHER speeches, learn about the Black Panther movement and why it was founded and how it started the nation’s free lunch program and more! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Shop Black – There was a HUGE uptick in folks buying Black last June and July and I hoped it would last longer than that. I’ve been making a conscious effort for a while to buy Black and help give back to the community that helped raise me. I love that major retailers and companies are spotlighting their Black-owned brands to help make it easier for consumers. Whether it’s restaurants on platforms like UberEats, Favor and Waitr or retailers like Target and Amazon there’s typically a ‘Black-owned’ tab you can click on to help narrow down your search.
Donate your resources – This doesn’t always have to be money. You can donate a few hours on a weekend to help clean up a neighborhood, do some voter canvassing or even volunteer with Black youth programs.
Capitalize the ‘B’ in ‘Black’ – When you’re referring to a color it’s okay to use the lowercase letter, but when you’re referring to Black people I’m gonna need you to go ahead and put some respect on that.
Amplify Black voices – Influencers you follow, Black voices at work, activists, government officials. Amplify those voices. Especially Black women! We as a nation now love to lean on Black women during times of change like elections and then silence them or speak over them any other time. Aht Aht! It’s time to end all of that.
And I know that I said that these are ways you can celebrate in February, but honestly, these can be done year-round!