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6 Ideas for Honoring Black History Month

Happy February! This month is known for cold weather, short days, and Valentine’s Day. However, the most powerful, impactful, and important part of February is its recognition of Black History Month.

While black history deserves to be celebrated daily, Black History Month focuses on recognizing the African, Caribbean, and Black men and women who have greatly influenced the United States. This year's theme, African Americans and the Arts, highlights the Black American influence in visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, film, music, and many other forms of cultural expression. 

February reminds us to seek out stories and histories that may often go overlooked and recognize the significance of black history. Nevertheless, it can sometimes be difficult to consider how to recognize Black History Month. What can you do? Here are six ideas for honoring Black History Month.


1. Support black-owned businesses

One simple way to recognize Black History Month is to support black entrepreneurs in your community. Not only can you celebrate the history within Black History Month, but you can also make intentional decisions with your money to champion the future of black history. Browse restaurants, shops, bakeries, fitness and wellness, and other services.

2. Contribute to black nonprofits

Hundreds of nonprofits work tirelessly to advocate for equal justice and representation for all people. From confronting the issue of police violence to helping African-American girls learn about the tech industry, these nonprofits work to create more opportunities for black individuals. This month, research black nonprofits and donate your time or talents to make a difference. 

3. Read black literature

Literature plays an important role in influencing our perceptions of the world and broadening our minds to varying viewpoints. This month, could you be intentional in choosing the books you consume? Search for prominent black authors with stories to share, and see how reading can influence your conception of Black History Month. One resource is this page of black poets and a personal favorite from Maya Angelou, Still I Rise.

4. Recognize black artists

From poets to musicians to actors and everything in between, you can recognize multitudes of well-known (and amateur) black artists during February. Search in your community for artists to watch, read, or listen to, or look nationally or internationally to broaden your horizons and learn more about the important work black artists create.

5. Research black history in your area

Black history has played a valuable role throughout the entirety of the United States, including right in your community. This month, research the stories of black history in your area by looking online, visiting a local museum or historical society, or simply going to your library for more information. You’ll soon realize that Black History Month isn’t just something worth national recognition but worth observance in every community throughout the country. Learn more at the Bullock Museum and check out these eight historical sites in Dallas.

6. Learn about prominent black figures

Of course, one of the best ways to recognize Black History Month is by learning more about prominent black figures. You can support this month by researching the history of black individuals throughout generations. For example, Jackie Robinson was the first African-American major league baseball player in 1947. More recently, Oprah Winfrey became the first African-American female billionaire in 2003. Later, Misty Copeland became the first African-American woman promoted to principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre in 2015. Here is a list of famous Black Texans.

While black history should be recognized consistently, Black History Month provides an opportunity to pay special attention to the accomplishments of black individuals throughout history. Take these ideas to heart this February and practice these tips as you honor Black History Month.