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How to Celebrate Black History Month as an Ally

 

 

Are you looking for ways to celebrate Black History Month as an ally but don’t know where to start? Many people want to support and honor Black History Month this February but find themselves in this dilemma. This article offers a comprehensive guide full of diverse ways, ranging from your wallet to your Apple Music playlist, in which you can celebrate Black History Month. 

1. Donations 

If you have money to spare, consider donating to Black activist groups or organizations such as Black Lives Matter and the NAACP. Donating is a great way to uplift Black organizations and often your donation can even be tax-deductible. Make sure you do your research to find an organization that you relate to and that is in need of donations. If you don’t have money to spare, you can donate in other ways. Many YouTube creators have made videos where they have pledged up to 100 percent of their monetized revenue to Black Lives Matter or other racial justice charities. Consider putting this video on in the background as you do your homework or workout in order to make some money for racial justice organizations. Be sure to turn off your adblock if you do this. 

2. Books 

Looking for a good book to read? Consider supporting Black authors by purchasing their works this February. Consider buying books that focus on racial justice and spend some time educating yourself. My personal recommendations are Sister Outsider which is a collection of essays by Black lesbian poet/feminist Audre Lorde and White Rage by Carol Anderson, which focuses on the imbedded racism in america and the concept of White Rage. If you are looking to read fiction, Toni Morrison has many great novels such as The Bluest Eye, Jazz, and Beloved that are very well-written and interesting works that deal with race in America. These are some recommendations to start with, but do your own research to find a relevant book that peaks your interest. 

3. Music and TV/Movies Support 

Looking for a new Netflix Show? Try supporting Black directors and actors this Black History Month. If you go to Netflix, there is a “Black History Month” tab that has a diverse collection of shows and movies that cover a range of topics. Titles range from documentary films such as 13th by Ava Duvernay to historical TV shows such as Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker.  In addition to Netflix, Apple Music has a “Black History Month” playlist full of Black artists throughout history. 

4. Shopping

If you don’t have money to donate but still want to support Black businesses, you can still support by being mindful of where you spend your money. Instead of your usual Uber eats order, consider ordering from a Black-owned restaurant in your area. You can also consider Black-owned fashion brands and stores. If you go to Amazon, they have a tab dedicated to Black History Month where you can shop from Black-owned businesses on the app. 

5. Online Virtual Tours 

Want to learn more about Black History but can’t visit a museum due to Covid-19? The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture has many virtual exhibitions and online collections that you can visit from your own home. This is a great way to experience life before the pandemic and educate yourself on Black history in an interactive and engaging way.

Julianna Grimson

Vanderbilt '24

Currently a freshman at Vanderbilt but originally from outside of Washington, D.C. Undecided in major but leaning towards Political Science or Environmental Sociology. Loves fashion, reading and watching TV. Passionate about the environment, sustainable living, and women's empowerment.
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