Supporting the Black Community This Past Month
3 minutes read
- Written by Yubo Team
How You Can Support Black History Month Year-Round
Black History Month is an annual celebration of Black achievements and contributions to the world. The origins of Black History Month can actually be traced back to 1926, where a historian proposed a Black History Week to be celebrated in February, because both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln were born in February. About 50 years later, president Gerald Ford extended Black History Week to Black History Month as he told Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
Thankfully, there are many ways you can support Black History Month and the important message it highlights!
One great way is to support Black-owned businesses. You can do this by literally searching for Black-owned businesses in your area or online. By shopping at or buying from these businesses, you will help promote economic empowerment in the Black community. Due to power dynamics and the discriminatory history of the world, especially the United States, Black people have had to suffer significant economic disadvantages. While there are larger systematic and societal changes that need to take place to reach equality, supporting Black owned businesses is a small, but immediate step you can take to economically empower the Black community. Further, there are so many Black-owned businesses out there with such fantastic products or services, that you could easily become a returning customer, adding a longevity to this mission.
Here are a few Black-owned businesses worth checking out:
- Unfinished Legacy – If you like streetwear, you will love these
- LØCI – Step up your sneaker game
- Baked Cravings – If you like sweets, you will love these nut-free treats
- Partake – Cookies and pancakes that are gluten-free, vegan, and delicious
- Karite – Natural moisturizers made with shea butter
- Scotch Porter – Fine men's grooming products
Educate yourself through the right sources. While there are many books, documentaries, lectures, podcasts, movies, the list goes on and on, about Black history and Black culture/communities, not all of them come from Black people. This is an important distinction. These various forms of essay might be helpful in understanding the historical events that contribute to systematic racism. If you want to get a better understanding of what it is like to be Black in modern times, it is best to hear it from those who are living it and to hear the perspectives and points of view by those affected. This means seeking out resources, literature and materials by Black people themselves speaking about the issues that impact them and their fight throughout history and today.
One of the best ways to do this is to simply speak with Black people in your community to learn more about their expeirences – but you must always remember to be open minded and to hear what they have to say. It is all about respect. If you have any Black friends, it is also important to check in on them. Black History Month highlights the achievements and contributions of black people, but it can also be met with a lot of hate and problematic statements and actions, as well stir up some complex feelings about our country’s history and current day issues. Whether they like it or not, a light is being shined on them and it can be nice to have the support of a caring friend.
During Black History Month, and year-round, many institutions, art exhibits, movie theaters, and schools/universities highlight the Black community through events. It could be an art gallery consisting of work by Black artists, it could be poetry reading, films featured by Black directors, or even lectures. Expression and articulation takes many forms, which means there is definitely a medium for you! If you enjoy reading, we made a list of books everyone should read that are by black authors.
Since films are so accessible, here are three films that also highlight Black culture:
- Blindspotting (2018) – A timely social commentary mixed with a buddy-comedy about being a Black man in modern America.
- Do the Right Thing (1989) – A comedic drama about racial tensions in a fictional neighborhood in New York City, told through Spike Lee’s iconic lens.
- You People (2023) – A light-hearted comedy about a modern interracial couple moving towards marriage.
One of the most important ways to support Black History Month is to get active and show solidarity. While going to events is helpful, being active takes it one step further. This can look like volunteering at organizations that serve the Black community or even one of those types of events mentioned above. You could also invite friends and family members who likely would not have gone to these events, to go with you. Further, there are many rallies during Black History Month and attending these shows strength in numbers. There are so many ways to show support your support.
Social media has become a large part of modern society and has also become a large outlet for sharing information. While social media is a fantastic place to get educated about Black History Month, it can also be full of misinformation. It is important to look into the information you are getting and its sources, especially before reposting or sharing it.
Most importantly, supporting Black History Month is not just a one month commitment. It is important to continually support the Black community every day by listening to their voices, advocating for equality, and taking actions against systemic racism and discrimination.