How To: Continue the Black History Month’s Momentum Year Round

Taewan Park, Multimedia Editor

February marked the start of Black History Month- first started by Carter G. Woodson’s “Negro Week” in 1926 that has morphed into a month-long celebration to recognize Black history in their struggles for freedom and equality as well as celebrating Black empowerment and achievements. Black history month is celebrated in various ways through mass media and education as well as acts of appreciation and recognition for the Black history, culture, art, and businesses. 

 As February now came to an end, it is easy to ease our minds and lose the momentum of celebration and recognition. However, we must not simply move on as the month ends; rather, Black History that persisted for justice, freedom, and pride, through years of oppression, is a subject worthwhile to be continuously reminded beyond February. 

Here are some ways to continue the momentum of Black History Month throughout the year:

  1. Be Educated

2020 held countless events that brought the racial conflicts in the United States onto our consciousness as teenagers preparing to be a part of the society. It is now more essential than ever to be educated within these conflicts fought for years of American history. Being aware of why we celebrate Black History Month is just as important as celebrating. Here are some media resources to learn more about Black History.

  • BlackPast.orghttps://www.blackpast.org/
    • Blackpast.org is one of the largest resource centers providing a global audience with reliable and accurate information on the history of African Americans worldwide. 

 

 

 

  1. Support Black Businesses

Why support black businesses: Supporting more Black-owned businesses contributes to creating more opportunities for the progression of strengthening black communities. These economic opportunities could serve as a bridge where low-income families can overcome economic struggles. Also, supporting black businesses could help close the persistent racial wealth gap in the United States. Here are some of the local black businesses that you can support:

  • Dame’s Chicken and Waffles

https://www.yelp.com/biz/dames-chicken-and-waffles-cary?osq=Black+Owned+Businesses

American restaurant that serves comfort food, located in Cary

  • Flavors Ice Cream

https://www.yelp.com/biz/flavors-ice-cream-raleigh?utm_medium=reroute&utm_source=apple_maps 

Unique Ice Cream Shop in Raleigh and Cary area serving premium ice cream coming from Wisconsin. 

  • Time’s Up! Escape Rooms

http://www.timesupescape.com/ 

Escape rooms are perfect for team building activity among friends, family, or coworkers. This is a good opportunity to have a bonding and fun experience as well as support Black-owned business.

 

  1. Visit Historic Sites

Gaining knowledge through media and books is valuable, however, being physically in the place that inspired, influenced, and shaped Black culture, struggles, and communities is avery effective way to recognize and appreciate Black history month. Here are few sites to visit in North Carolina:

The International Civil Rights center & Museum in Greensboro

  • Located in downtown Greensboro, is where four freshmen from N.C. A&T State University started the influential movement “Sit-ins” by sitting at the “whites only” lunch counter. 
Picture of the lunch counter where the “sit ins” began as a movement. (visitgreensboronc.com)

Philips Moravian Church

  • This is the oldest standing African-American church in North Carolina built in 1861. It stands adjacent to the newly reconstructed 1823 log church with exhibitions conveying the African-American experience in the Moravian community. 

 

Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture in Charlotte

  • Located in Charlotte, this is a destination for African-American art showcasing the epicenter for music, dance, art, film, and literature.
Picture of Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture.
  1. Appreciate Black Artists and Music

Exploring and appreciating musical works by Black artists and music is a great way to participate in celebrating the Back History as well. Spotify has made a genre named “Black History Is Now” under the browse tab which provides playlists and podcasts of various black artists and influencers. These are the sounds of movements that speak and fight through the artistic and musical form.

Black History Is Now on Spotify. (Spotify)

 

  1. Appreciation for Black Films

Films are one of the greatest ways to tell a story and deliver emotion, and even educate about Black history. Here are a few films to watch in appreciation for the Black History.

Picture of 2016 Critically Acclaimed Hidden Figures movie poster. Starring fan-favorite actresses: Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monáe, and Octavia Spencer.

Hidden Figures

  • This film is based on true story about three women’s experience and accomplishments as black mathematicians of NASA during 1961 where racial segregation was strongly empowered as social norms. 
Scene from Moonlight. Available to watch on Netflix!

Moonlight

  • Oscar’s award-winning film “moonlight” highlights a powerful breakthrough story about a young black boy with both internal conflicts of identity and sexuality as well as external conflicts of family, drugs, and poverty. The film’s cinematography and color is exceptional as well as acting of the actors and actresses. 
Scene from “42,” with beloved actor Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson.

42

  • Based on a true story about Jackie Robinson, and starring the late Chadwick Boseman, this film highlights the racial struggles of African American sportsmen in 1947 showing detailed struggles and fights of Jackie Robinson as a first African-American Baseball player in Major League.

 

 


Whether it is Black History month, or any month, as members of a diverse community, there’s always value in exploring and better understanding the cultures and experiences of those around us. As we head into March, let’s strive to be advocates of appreciating and respecting different cultures.