Black History Month is incredibly important and worth celebrating each and every day of the month. It’s also important to honor and celebrate Black men and women who have played such an integral role in history every day of the year. To all the white people out there, I have put together some ways we can celebrate and take a step in making America (or wherever you live) a more equitable place. Push yourself out of your comfort zone, like Fredrick Douglas said in his West India Emancipation speech in 1857, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”
READ UP ON CURRENT (AND PAST) BLACK AMERICAN HISTORY
History still affects today in each and every way. If you think that what happened 400 years ago doesn’t still cause a rippling wave through communities across the nation, you would be shocked to find out the truth. Even in America’s short time of being independent from England, history has repeated itself time and time again. Here are some great books that I or someone I know has read:
WATCH FILMS/SHOWS WRITTEN + DIRECTED BY BLACK ARTISTS
Below is a list that I or people I know have seen. This is not every film! There are so many amazing films out there, this is truly just the tip of the iceberg.
12 Years a Slave
When They See Us
Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse
Da 5 Bloods
Straight Outta Compton
SUPPORT BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES
Choosing to buy something from a Black-owned business instead of a corporation is an easy way to support business owners. It’s honestly as easy as Googling “Black owned business near me,” and loads of options will pop up depending on where you are from. If you’re a Cincy local, here’s a great list of businesses in our area. You can also choose to buy your books from a Black-owned bookstore. Here is a list of some you can order from online. Websites like Etsy, Target, and so many more have compiled huge lists too. Check them out!
SUPPORT LOCAL NONPROFITS
Supporting local (or national) non-profits that give back to Black communities is a great way to celebrate Black History Month. Below is a list of some larger nonprofits as well as some Cincy local ones. Not all of us are able to, but if you, please consider donating.
From Black Girls Code to the NAACP, here are some amazing national organizations
Black History Month cannot simply be a month. White people are going to have to lift up Black, Asian, Latinx, and other minority voices in order for change to happen. If we can strip away our pride and listen, I mean truly listen, a fire could ignite in all of us to push forward and advocate for those who have been oppressed for far too long.