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10 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month

Black History Month is the time of year when we celebrate the contributions of black authors, scientists, inventors, entreprenuers, artists and entertainers to American history. Most of us can probably remember some type of annual Black History Month presentation from high school, packed with facts about black activists and black athletes. Well we’re here to kick it up a notch and provide some ~grown-up~ ways to really celebrate Black History Month. And remember: you can do each of these things throughout the whole year!

1. Satisfy your beauty, fashion, food and fitness needs at a black-owned business.

Need a new fitness routine? How about a new lipstick color? There are thousands of black-owned businesses across the country that can help you out. Here’s a list of local black businesses located in the DMV. 

2. Skip Whole Foods and buy your organic produce from a black farmer

Whole Foods’ kale is so last year. Get your leafy greens and other fresh produce from a local black farmer. There are even a few in the DMV. 

3. Visit the National Museum of African Art. No excuses because admission is free!

The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art is home to thousands of pieces of African art. Artwork and exhibits span centuries of history, from ancient to contemporary. If you’re an art or history fan, this DC gem is definintely worth checking out. 

4. Attend a Black History Month themed event on campus or in DC.

Open mic poetry, student seminars and more will be hosted across campus and throughout the city. Keep your eyes peeled for exciting black history events!

5. Read a book by a black author.

Black authors have published some of the greatest books in American literature. From Toni Morrison to Alice Walker, Ralph Ellison to Ta-Nehisi Coates, these authors have produced American classics that every bookworm should read. 

6. Have a black film night.

A Raisin in the Sun. Do the Right Thing. Straight Out of Compton. These are each examples of amazing films with black directors and black actors. Pop some popcorn and invite your friends over for a night of African-American movie classics! Use this list to get started. 

7. Volunteer at a local organization that serves the African-American community.

Give back to your community by donating time at a black non-profit. The Emergence Community Arts Collective, designed to empower people through the arts, is just one of many. AU also has a great list of local organizations that could use your help!

8. Watch Hidden Colors.

Did you know that Mozart may have actually been a black man? Hidden Colors is an amazing trilogy of documentaries that explores thousands of years of black history that you never learned in school.

9. Share daily black history facts on social media.

We all know how powerful a tool social media is when it comes to sharing information. Use the technology at your fingertips for a good cause and share some little known black history facts with your friends and family. 

10.  Reserve a table at a black-owned restaurant in DC.

Sure you’ve been to Chef Geoff’s, but what about Ooh’s and Ahh’s? Ever been to Smith Public Trust? DC is home to dozens of black-owned restaurants with cusines ranging from East African to American soul food. And each meal is prepared with love. 


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Lauren Lumpkin is a freshman majoring in Public Relations and Strategic Communication at American University in Washington, D.C. This self-proclaimed "foodie" from Cleveland, Ohio loves writing for HerCampus and blogging. In her free time, you can find her blasting music in her dorm room, watching movies, or working on DIY projects. 
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