Black History Month - Celebrating All Year

The year of 2020 was not ideal in the least bit. I don’t think I need to remind anyone of the struggle many Americans and people worldwide dealt with, amidst a pandemic. The late spring and early summer of 2020 reminded us that there are still vast changes to be made to truly ensure equality. 

Around the nation, people spoke out and showed up to Black Lives Matter protests to confront the racism deeply embedded in American society. The protests of 2020 loom in the shadows as we celebrate Black History Month in 2021. There are still huge strides to be made around the nation and February gives us the chance to celebrate Black history as its own history. Yet, the celebration, appreciation, and recognition of the importance of Black history and Black lives does not limit itself to just a single month. 

As a white woman, I remember learning vaguely the stories of prominent Black figures in comparison to the overwhelming focus on white point of views and people. I don’t think my schooling ever highlighted Black History Month explicitly. This experience is not just my own, but one many share as the American curriculum fails to educate students on anything other than white history.

The shortest month of the year offers only 28 days, sometimes 29, of celebration for Black History, yet there are ways to continue the celebration and recognition of the talent, intelligence, and perspectives that the Black community has brought to the globe. 

Keep Shopping At Black Businesses

This specific focus to support Black-owned businesses was a big push after the events of 2020. However, it is not a trend or a fad that was done only once. By integrating Black-owned businesses’ products into our typical consumerism, we can support Black creators year-around. I suggest to check out our article by Kayla Nasralla about Black Owned Businesses here in Seattle to support throughout the year. 

Always Be Educating Yourself

There is never a bad time to be learning more. Throughout the month and year, any reading, listening, and watching can be resourceful to take in Black stories. The easiest of these is podcasts, that you can listen to and learn. On campus, SPU Black Student Union hosts a podcast hosted by their core members that covers all things such as performative activism, the intersection of Christianity and BLM, Colorism and Light-Skin Privilege, and Voting. These podcasts are so informational and originate from right here at SPU.

In addition to podcasts, SPU offers some great classes regarding race, ethnicity, and privilege. Take advantage of that extra credit given to students from Tuition Reimagined to discuss, challenge, and learn. 

Sociology 3215: Inequality: Power and Privilege

Sociology 3862: Race and Ethnicity

Sociology 4250: Law, Injustice, and Social Change

Social Justice and Cultural Studies 1000: Introduction to Justice 

Social Justice and Cultural Studies 3510: Theology, Culture, and Society

Social Justice and Cultural Studies 4899: Race, Representation, and Law

English 3332: African-American Literature

English 3380: African Literature

English 3334: U.S. Multi-Ethnic Literature 

And more! 

Follow Advocates on Social Media

If you’re looking for a way to get information at a one-stop shop, follow Black creators and advocates that provide information, businesses to support, and resources. Check out some of the accounts below. 

@blackownedeverything 

@antiracismdaily

@chnge

@blackhistory

Confront Racism and Be Actively Anti-Racist

This last suggestion is one of the most important to integrate into our year to advocate for the Black community. Unfortunately, we do not have to look far to see racist intentions and acts that occur in our nation, our city, and here on campus. We must continue confronting racism in our daily lives regardless of workplace, classroom, friend group or family. This means stepping in, having a conversation, and educating and providing resources for others. 

It should not be the Black community’s responsibility to educate non BIPOC, so we must educate, inform, and look for resources to do better and act better. Her Campus SPU proudly supports the Black community and BLM. We will always be a space of inclusion, advocacy for equality, and community regardless of race, gender, and identity.