For those who are not aware, February is Black History Month!  This month seems to be flying by, which is why we’re a bit late with this post. But before the month is over, we’d like to encourage each of you to do something in celebration of Black history.  Below we’ve collected several ideas of activities you can do.  Some will only take 30 minutes; others may take up more time.  Choose something that works for your schedule and plan to do it before the end of the month.  Or, if you feel particularly inspired, plan on doing some of these things throughout the year.  After all, our respect for other cultures and ideas shouldn’t be limited to one month, right?  Whatever you choose, we hope you find value in these activities and gain a better appreciation for those around you.

Do Some Research!

This may seem simple, but it can be very beneficial.  Take time to go online and read about Black history.  This can be centered on a specific event, time period, or person.  See what you can discover about the history of Africa, the slave trade, the Civil Rights Movement, or anything else you can think of.  You can also spend time researching contemporary Black authors or activists and their opinions.  It may open your eyes to an idea you had never considered before.  Furthering education has the power to change lives and society.

Read a Book by a Black Author

There are so many great books out there by authors of color.  Take time to seek them out and perhaps discover a new favorite.  Below we’ve included ten possibilities to get started.  However, there are so many lists out there of great reads by Black authors that we encourage you to go seek them out.

  1. Black and British by David Olusoga
  2. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  3. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  4. White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
  5. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  6. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  7. Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
  8. Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron
  9. The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
  10. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Watch a Film

Watch a film that addresses Black history and struggles.  This could be fictional or a documentary style film, but preferably try something new.  Most subscription services provide a wide variety of Black films that may pique your interest.  Take a look at the list and maybe even plan a movie night with friends.

Have a Conversation

Do you have a Black friend or family member?  If you’re both comfortable, take an opportunity to discuss their feelings and experiences with being Black.  Have they suffered from racist interactions themselves?  What are their opinions regarding how we as a society could do better to be more respectful and provide better opportunities?  Actively listen to what they have to say with the intent to understand.  Even if you have some disagreements, there is value in listening to another’s ideas and experiences.

Try a New Recipe

Whether it comes from a different country or from the Black American subculture, try a new dish.  If possible, try to learn about the history of that dish as well.  How did it come to be a part of the culture?  Was it a single individual that made it popular or was it an event that made the dish necessary in order to provide food for people?  Food can teach us a lot about a culture.  Plus, you get to eat some delicious goodies!

We hope at least one of these ideas stood out to you as something you can do before February ends.  Black History month provides a wonderful opportunity for us to focus our learning on something that’s, not only fascinating, but that still impacts all of us today.  We hope you gain something from the experience and, of course, have fun doing it!