It’s February, and we all know what that means. It’s Black History Month—the time of year when people of color and their allies across the US find ways to celebrate the contributions our community has made. While this rich culture deserves a lot more than a month’s worth of celebration, here are 11 excellent ways to honor Black History Month with the whole family.
1. Learn More About Important Black Historical Figures
Most people in the US are familiar with Civil Rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks. But there are lots of noteworthy Black figures out there that are worth learning about, such as Shirley Chisolm, who was the first Black congresswoman. Alvin Ailey, who founded the American Dance Theater and brought the beauty of black bodies and dancing together. And let’s not forget about the most recent historical figure of all—Kamala Harris, the first female Black vice-president of the United States.
2. Watch Films and TV Shows Made by Black People
Go on Netflix and check out some amazing TV shows that talk about the experiences of Black people, like “When They See Us.” Want to see a powerful woman in action? Check out Shonda Rhimes’ “How to Get Away With Murder,” starring Viola Davis as a criminal defense attorney embroiled in some shady situations. And if you’re into suspense and thrillers, then make sure to watch “Us,” a horror film from Jordan Peele about a group of creepy doppelgangers who start attacking people. It’s definitely worth a watch!
3. Make Sure to Read Books with Black Characters
Looking for something to read for Black History Month? Check out a couple of books that have Black protagonists in them. There is a wide selection to choose from, like “My Hair is a Garden” by Cozbi A. Cabrera, which is about a Black girl who learns to embrace the beauty of her natural hair. “Harbor Me” by Jacqueline Woodson is a story about six middle school tweens that form a group to help deal with issues at home like racism and incarceration.
4. Play the African Counting Game Mancala
Mancala is a game that’s said to date back to the 6th century in the Ethiopian and Eritrean regions. You can buy a version of this African counting game on Amazon and eBay. Players must capture as many of the opponent’s pieces, which are generally in the form of gems, seeds, or small stones. Learn more about how to play by watching the YouTube video below:
5. Donate to Organizations that Stand Against Racism
Organizations like the Black Youth Project, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and The American Civil Liberties Union support equality and the fight against racism. And they could definitely use a hand. So, consider donating some money to these organizations or any organization that represents the fight for equality.
6. Buy and Share Books Written by Black Authors
There are black literary classics and lots of Black authors out there that could use some support like Steven Barnes, who wrote “Lion’s Blood,” which delves into a world where Africans have colonized the American continent. There are also book clubs available that focus solely on Black literature. Once you’ve finished reading these wonderful books, make sure to talk about them on social media to let others know how great they are. Don’t undervalue the power of exposure and word of mouth, even if you don’t have a big platform with thousands of followers.
7. Play Some Black History Trivia Games
Have the whole family show their support during Black History Month by testing their knowledge of Black History with trivia games. Familyeducation.com has lots of quiz games about Civil Rights Heroes, Notable African-American Women, and leaders.
But if you’re looking for something that’s a bit more fun and educational for kids, then download the Black History Month Multiplication Volume 1 for $5. These printable resources feature multiplication facts on prominent Black figures throughout history.
Quizzes and trivia games:
- Black History Trivia Quiz
- Black History Quiz Collection | Black History & Culture
- African-American History Quiz | 20 Questions
8. Check Out Some Online Exhibits on Black History
There are lots of exhibits that delve into Black History and the topic of protests and racism. And best of all, these exhibits are online and available to us all:
The Chez Baldwin online exhibit at the National Museum of African American History and Culture courtesy of late activist James Baldwin.
The African American History in Colorado online exhibit at the History Colorado Center offers timelines, interactive maps, and photos of civil rights leaders and Lincoln Hills, a vacation resort for African Americans that was open from the mid-1920s to the mid-1960s.
9. Watch Black History Documentaries Together
Check out some Black History documentaries and get a new perspective on the various struggles Black people have faced. Here are some suggestions, but feel free to browse Hulu or Netflix for the best documentaries:
- Olympic Pride, American Prejudice tells the story of 17 out of 18 black contestants who participated in the Berlin Olympic Games in 1936 but are rarely mentioned.
- LA 92 documents Rodney King’s incident, a man who was beaten by cops in Los Angeles who were found not guilty, sparking a horrible riot.
- America to Me is a 10-episode documentary series that contains interviews with the faculty, staff, and students as they tackle the issues Black people and other people of color deal with in the school system throughout America.
10. Organize a Black Book Club
Reading books with Black protagonists or books written by Black authors is one way to show support. But another way to commemorate Black History Month is by organizing a book club with family, friends, and neighbors to discuss these books’ topics. Participants can also talk about the author too. For example, they might have an interesting tidbit about why they focused on the subject in their book.
11. Let Black Peoople Tell Their Stories on Your Social Media Pages
This one goes out to all social media influencers out there who may have a following online. Consider letting a Black person use your account to talk about their experience or promote their business on a story or a post. Or have them share a personal experience that they might have gone through that requires a call to action.