Black History Month was first proposed at Kent State University in 1969 and officially became a national holiday in 1976. President Gerald Ford recognized February as Black History Month, in order “to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history." Perhaps you want to do something meaningful to celebrate and honor African-American history, but aren’t sure where to start. We have 6 ideas of ways you can honor Black history this month.
- Watch a movie- Celebrate Black history by watching some innovative and thought-provoking movies by Black writer/directors, like the classic “Do the Right Thing” by Spike Lee and the recent Oscar horror film winner “Get Out” by Jordan Peele.
- Shop- Shopping local black-owned businesses is a great way to give directly to the black community. To find black-owned businesses near you, try the ones listed here. Mashable suggests some Black-owned businesses online that also give back to good causes. Check out their recommendations.
- Mentor- Being a mentor is a great way to give back and to learn about a new generation! "Mentoring Brothers in Action" is a partnership between Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the nation’s 3 largest African American fraternities: Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, and Omega Psi Phi. They seek “to engage more African American men in fraternal, social, faith-based, and professional organizations to get involved in one-to-one mentoring to change the odds for African American boys.” Mentoring.org also provides some great resources for would-be mentors.
- Listen- Catch up with some of the best Black thought leaders in the world by watching some Tedtalks that offer fresh, thoughtful perspectives on Black identity.
- Post- Use social media to draw attention to significant African-American leaders and history-makers. Use your Facebook or Twitter and post a quote every day during February (no, not just MLK. Do a little research!).
- Read- There are a plethora of amazing books by and about Black authors from biographies to fiction to fantasy. Here is a great list from Buzzfeed.
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