Celebrating during Black History Month
February is Black History month, and it’s a great time to explore African Americans’ achievements and contributions. Of course, any time of the year is an excellent time to learn about and celebrate African American History. Still, February is the designated month where achievements are highlighted and is often filled with significant events and activities to participate in. The history of slavery, segregation and the ongoing battle for civil rights can be complex topics to discuss with children. There is a time and place for those tough conversations, but Black History Month is about so much more than that. Remember not to focus only on the hard stuff and that this is a time of celebration as well. If you are looking for practical ways to participate this February, this is for you.
Remember Black Joy!
Black History Month coverage often focuses on slavery and historical icons like Harriet Tubman, MLK and Rosa Parks. While these amazing people should always be studied and shared, there are many more people to learn about. There are also more facets to their stories than are usually widely shared. Did you know Rosa Parks was a yogi? She practiced yoga regularly and it became a family practice. That’s a powerful message about civil rights work and self-care and wellness. There is joy and complexity in the stories of African Americans, more than just the work or the fight.
There is more to the story than hardships. Consider looking for a wide variety of books featuring many historical figures and current people that Black authors write. There are modern poets, artists, scientists and more to learn from. Fiction books are also great resources and the stories can be very engaging. Look for fiction books featuring main Black characters and stories representing African American people living their everyday lives, taking care of themselves and having fun! Having a movie night or enjoying family television shows featuring African Americans is another way to celebrate Black Joy.
Find Local Events
Head to your local library in person or check out their calendar online. There are sure to be a variety of different events celebrating Black History Month. From special themed craft events to book readings, see which ones interest you and your family. Other organizations, community centers, recreation centers and museums are sure to have their calendars loaded with some fun interactive events as well to participate in. Check out what is offered in your neighborhood and also online. Some African American history museums or other places that aren’t local to you may have virtual programming. Take an online museum tour or participate virtually in a talk or class. Go see Black art, look for local museum or gallery exhibits featuring Black artists or shows featuring Black musicians. You can also see these performances and art online. Find books and Youtube videos about the artist as well. It’s a good time to come together, have fun and learn more in person and online.
Support Black Businesses
Shop your local Black businesses and online for any gifts or products you need. You may find a new favorite store or brand. Essentials like laundry detergent or toothpaste can be purchased from a Black-owned business. Try out a Black Owned restaurant for a family dinner if you can find a restaurant that serves food from Black culture, even better. Learn about the food and enjoy a meal together.
Happy Black History Month! Enjoy this time with your family to learn new things and connect with your community in a fun new way.