4 Ways To Celebrate Black History Month
Every February, we commemorate Black History Month, a month-long observance that honors and recognizes the invaluable contributions Black individuals have made and continue to make in society. There is no denying the significance of Black History Month, as it celebrates Black leaders and accomplishments, encourages individuals to learn about Black histories, and ultimately plays a pivotal role in building a more equitable and inclusive future for all.
Read on to learn more about the actions we can take as individuals to support and honor Black History Month not only during February, but throughout the entire year too!
Donate to Charities That Support Anti-racism Equity and Equality
Monetary contributions can make a significant difference and help charities combat anti-Black racism and achieve justice for Black communities. Excellent causes you can consider supporting include Black Lives Matter Canada, the Black Legal Action Center, Black Health Alliance, and the Black Youth Helpline. Giving back to grassroots organizations is also greatly valued, especially since these organizations typically do not receive widespread exposure.
2. Support Black Business Owners, Artists, and Creators
Unfortunately, many Black-owned businesses today still find themselves subject to structural racism, causing many Black business owners to face discriminatory barriers. As a matter of fact, between February and April of 2020, approximately 40% of Black business owners closed their doors, a percentage double that of white business owners. For this reason, supporting Black businesses is crucial, as it is a way of voting with our dollars and fighting the economic inequities that exist in our communities. To identify black-owned businesses near you, websites such as Canada Black-Owned Marketplace and the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce are great resources, as they provide directories of Black-owned establishments across Canada.
Regarding artists and creators, consider adding Black authors to your reading list, listening to the songs of Black singers, appreciating the art of Black artists, and following inspiring Black creators on social media platforms!
3. About Historical Black Figures and Their Contributions
Learning about and honoring Black figures who have impacted and shaped our societies is a great way to commemorate Black History Month. It is especially crucial to consider the individuals who do not always receive significant attention in our history books and overall culture. Examples include Mae C. Jemison, the first Black woman in space, Jean Augustine, the first African-Canadian woman elected to the House of Commons, and Madam C.J. Walker, the first African American woman to become a self-made millionaire.
4. Attend Black History Month Celebrations
Throughout February, individuals can participate in various virtual Black History Month celebrations, ranging from poetry events, scavenger hunts, art exhibitions, performances, workshops, and more. For example, on February 24 at 7 pm, Sheridan College’s Student Union will be hosting a free guided painting session online to help guests destress and reflect on Black History Month. If interested, you can register here!