We celebrate black culture every day. However, February is Black History Month and will always be the month we honor the legacies of African Americans that came before us who struggled for human rights. We celebrate the achievements made by black pioneers who have contributed to American culture and the world at large from all areas of life. Do you have any ideas of how you want to honor Black History Month? Have no fear! We have put together a list of 10 unique ways you, your family, and friends can celebrate your black heritage during this special month.
1.) Focus on learning about a specific historical figure- Pick a black historical figure you want to learn more about. Then once you pick your historical figure, learn and read everything about them. Find out why that person is significant to our history, even if you disagree with politically. For example, I’m currently learning about Malcolm X.
2.) Relearn the teachings of Dr. King– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of peace and civil disobedience is worth revisiting in today’s current political climate.
3.) Watch blaxploitation films on Netflix– Netflix has a selection of B-Movies that do make an awesome movie marathon. They may not be exactly Oscar worthy but 70s blaxploitation plays a big role in film history. Why not check out a few? Even if it just to give you a great laugh.
4.) Go see Hidden Figures. Then, read the book!- Hidden Figures continues to make big money at the box office beating out La La Land as the highest grossing Best Picture Oscar nominee. If you haven’t yet, go see the film to learn about these three black NASA mathematicians. If you want to know more, go read the biography written by Margot Lee Shetterly.
5.) Read books written by a black feminist author- Feminism, particularly intersectional feminism, is making another, but necessary, wave in our country. Open yourselves to learning about other black women’s experiences whether they be from America, Africa, or other parts of the world. There are many books written by black women who write about the black female experience. Check out classic feminists authors such as Angela Davis, Bell Hooks, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, and Zora Heale Hurston.
6.) Donate to or join a black organization/Become a patron of the arts- Look up any black organizations you feel you want to be a part of or want to help contribute to. Black Lives Matter, The National Black Caucus, and the NAACP are all great places to start. If you want to help the arts, support your local arts center or any programs that gear towards helping artists of color.
7.) Go visit an exhibit at your local museum- If you can, go to the Natural Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. Can’t make the trip? Visiting your local museum is just as good. Most museums will hold exhibitions and events that celebrate African American culture.
8.) Cook African food and/or your favorite “soul food” meal- You can’t go wrong with food! Spice up your home by hosting a dinner for your family made with food that has African origins.
9.) Watch documentaries about the African American experience- Watch documentaries that discuss the black experience past and present. You can still catch Ava DuVernay’s newest documentary The 13th on Netflix. The empowering documentary Paris is Burning is also available. I highly recommend The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 which is also available for streaming on Netflix.
10.) Support black businesses- Like Izzy & Liv, there are many other black-owned businesses out there. Let’s support our peers for the work they do. So for this month, take a break from the mainstream for a bit and try out products from black-owned brands that cater to your style.