February, as you probably know, is Black History Month. During this time, many people like to revisit the stories of Black leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. While these stories are important to remember, there are many other ways to explore Black history and culture that can have an impact on the present and future. Celebrating Black History Month might look a little different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but here are some ways I’m participating in the celebration.
- Listen to Black artists
Apple has dedicated multiple playlists to Black History Month. There are plenty of featured guest playlists of Black artists to choose from, including Erykah Badu, Aretha Franklin, and Diana Ross. I personally enjoy listening to throwback jams like “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James. Enjoy a cup of coffee (or glass of wine!) while listening to the soulful vocals of these artists!
- Support small Black businesses
Shopping Black-owned businesses is not only the most powerful action you can take, but it also puts the power back into the hands of Black owners and creators. This action can break chains and create generational wealth. Some brands I love are Nude Barre — which sells nude hosiery for women of color — Ivy’s Tea Co., and The Honey Pot Co. for your feminine needs.
- Donate to Black organizations
After the protests against police brutality and the unjust murders in 2020, the motivation to take action has grown. Over the past few months, many people (including myself) have donated to organizations that provide funds for the lives lost, such as the Elijah McClain Memorial Fund.
Some more organizations you can donate to are the Black Youth Project, who provides resources to African-American youth, or Black Lives Matter and the Anti-Racism Fund, both of which fight against racial injustice and police brutality. If you want to go beyond this, set up monthly donations instead of donating one time, so the support doesn’t end once Black History Month ends!
- Educate yourself
Educating yourself on Black history is just as important as anything else I’ve mentioned, if not more! Educating yourself is the best way to continue positive change moving forward, especially during challenging times like we all experienced this past year. Since podcasts have been all the rage lately, try listening to podcasts like The Uncomfortable Podcast, The Diversity Gap, or 1619 — all of which are about the history and struggles dealing with race. Podcasts or reading books are very helpful tools if you don’t have someone to actually have these tough conversations with.
Just because Black History Month is during the month of February doesn’t mean the things I listed above have to — or should — stop after February 28th. Keep educating yourself and stay active in celebrating Black lives all year round!