We celebrate black History Month every February in the United States. It’s a time to reflect on the accomplishments of African Americans throughout history. Here are some ideas if you’re looking for ways to celebrate Black History Month.
Research your family tree and learn about your ancestors
Exploring your family tree and learning about your ancestors during Black History Month is an incredible opportunity to celebrate African Americans’ history and learn about the significance of your genealogy in the larger cultural narrative. Not only will you gain a better understanding of both sides of your life story, but you could also discover hidden figures from generations before you who molded the paths their descendants have taken. Diving into your family tree can also create a greater awareness of African American identity and explore the intricacies of African American culture, history, and collective racial experiences. Uncovering one’s ancestry can be incredibly empowering - so take the time this February to explore!
Visit a museum or gallery that focuses on African American art and culture.
Celebrate Black History Month by visiting your local museum or gallery dedicated to highlighting African American art and culture! Exploring African American art and culture in a museum or gallery is a great way to celebrate and can be an eye-opening experience that brings understanding to the lasting effects of oppression, resilience, and pride within this community. Visiting such a space is a reminder of how African Americans have made incredible contributions throughout history and across different cultures. It also encourages us to remember those who’ve been forgotten throughout the years.
Read books, watch movies, or listen to music that tells the stories of black people throughout history.
Celebrating Black History Month is a fantastic opportunity to recognize, reflect on, and appreciate the incredible impact of black people throughout history. This month has always been a time to celebrate individual stories and those that have come before us, with generations teaching and inspiring generations. To add to that celebration and honor the contributions of black people around us, why not take this time to reflect through some books, movies, or music? From notable biographies written by authors at different periods to films that tell stories from different perspectives or songs from contemporary artists capturing their narrative, there are many ways to explore topics related to Black History Month. Each experience provides opportunities for growth and a way to honor our peers, past and present.
Cook a meal from a country in Africa or the Caribbean
Why not celebrate Black History Month with a delicious Jerk Chicken feast? Jerk Chicken is a popular dish originating in the Caribbean, typically made with Scotch Bonnet peppers and diverse Jamaican spices. However, looking deeper at the African influence on this unique dish, jerk seasoning is believed to have come from the marinade recipes of enslaved West African shipped to Jamaica during the transatlantic slave trade. So this month, cook up a Caribbean or African-influenced meal to remind yourself of the rich culture and delicious flavors that make each unique!
Attend a local event celebrating Black History Month
Black History Month is a time to recognize African Americans’ incredible history and achievements. Celebrate this momentous month by attending a local event that honors the contributions of African Americans throughout our nation’s past. Whether it’s an art gallery, a lecture series, or another special celebration, attending an event dedicated to Black History Month can help you learn about African American figures and even meet new people in your community. Take advantage of this special occasion to support Black & African American lives today!
Learn about the civil rights movement and the people who fought for equality
There has been a long history of struggle and triumph in the civil rights movement, from the Thirteenth Amendment that abolished slavery to the Brown v. Board of Education case that declared segregation unconstitutional. The struggle for civil rights only made every step of progress and victory thanks to countless people who put their lives and safety on the line for fundamental human equality. To honor them this Black History Month, take time to learn about those dauntless activists, courageous lawyers, and passionate volunteers who all pushed for civil rights reform. From Fredrick Douglass, who advocated against slavery in the 1800s, to Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., who led marches around the country in the 1950s, these brave individuals always strived for social justice. With modern movements such as Black Lives Matter continuing into today’s era, recognizing these civil rights pioneers is even more pertinent to our society now than it was decades ago.
This year, take the time to learn about and celebrate the accomplishments of black people throughout history. Whether you research your family tree to know about your ancestors, visit a local museum or gallery or read books or watch movies that tell stories about black people. There are many ways to celebrate Black History Month–which one will you choose? Let me know in the comments !