Wifeys & Gentlemen,
Can you believe we’re almost done with the first week of February?! Although January didn’t really drag for me this year (heyyy maternity leave), I am still glad to be into the 2nd month of 2021. For many, February feels like a reset button on the start of the year. As I’ve mentioned many times, 2021 started off a little rough. I am optimistic that we are only going up from here. Now is the time to really dig into my intentions for the year and manifest my miracles!
Moreover, many of you likely know that February is Black History Month! Normally, I don’t make such a big deal about it. I find my own ways to celebrate and keep it pushin’! However, coming off of such a volatile year for race relations and racial equality (both in America and across the globe) I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the importance of this month and offer some ideas to anyone out there who wants to better understand and immerse themselves in black culture.
Of course, being a black woman myself, I care about expanding my knowledge of black excellence and sharing these triumphs with my husband and daughter. If you’re in an interracial relationship, especially with a black person, celebrating black history month can be a great way to better connect with your partner and show them you’re an ally.
Naturally, you do not have to be black or date a black person to want to show allyship and solidarity with the black community. This year, while many of us are stuck at home with lots of time on our hands, why not try something new? Why not celebrate black history and learn something you didn’t know before.
Here’s my quick list of ways you can celebrate this month, while staying at home with your friends, family, and loved ones.
Donate to Charities & Sign Petitions
Contrary to what you might have heard, protests and fights for justice haven’t stopped. The #BlackLivesMatter movement is ongoing. There are so many organizations that are committed to ending things like police brutality and discrimination…and they need your support! If you have the funds, send a donation. No money? No problem! You can sign petitions to send a message to politicians and leadership, asking them to be a part of peaceful, viable solutions. Beyond that, there are tons of organizations that work to help black people in need. Whether it’s for education, food, housing, or career opportunities. Donating time can sometimes be even more valuable than cash. Have you considered becoming a mentor or big brother/sister to black youth? Would you try volunteering at a predominantly black homeless shelter or supporting programs for after school kids?
Purchase & Read Books by Black Authors
If you like to read, there are so many great authors who you might not know. Walter Mosley (a favorite of my mother’s), Glory Edim, Jesmyn Ward, James McBride, Bell Hooks, August Wilson and Eric Jerome Dicky are some amazing modern options if you’re looking to break away from the older classics (ie: Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, etc).
Experience the Black Arts
Looking for new music? Listen to some black artists on Spotify. Did you know that black musicians do more than just rap? They sing country, rock and roll, heavy metal, and soul. They play instruments and experiment with new, innovative sound. You can even dabble in music from other countries (Caribbean, African, Afro-European, Afro-Latin). Additionally, you can also find virtual museum tours that feature black exhibits or showcase black themes. Prefer dancing? Youtube has some wonderful black dancers and choreographers that you can watch to learn some new moves.
Binge Watch Black Movies & TV Shows
Platforms like Hulu and Netflix have made efforts to showcase more black films and tv shows all year round. Find movies that star black actors or were written, directed, and produced by black talent. If you’re looking for a new show, I HIGHLY recommend catching up on Insecure. Issa Rae is EVERYTHING you didn’t know you needed.
Watch Educational Documentaries
13th, LA 92, 4 Little Girls, Good Hair, Hidden Colors, and I Am Somebody are some of the better ones I’ve seen more recently. However, there are honestly hundreds of options that can educate you on slavery, inequality, political activism, music, historical figures, black women’s rights, black LGBT leaders, and the cultural experience. Yes, many of these documentaries can be sad or hard to watch, but the message is important the voices deserve to be heard.
Support Black Owned Businesses
Every little bit helps! Putting money into black communities is one of the best ways you can show your support for racial equality, especially in America. Did you know that Black Americans suffer from a HUGE wealth gap in comparison to other races? When you can, spend your money to support their effort to change this disparity.
Cook a Traditional Meal
Take a trip to the islands with some oxtail stew over rice and peas. Try your hand at Jollof or Cachupa. Ever make a Moroccan stew with a real tagine? Or, you can keep it simpler and whip up some classic southern soul food! Your stomach will thank you, unless you can’t cook! Then, I’d suggest supporting black business by ordering your meal to-go.
Learn about Notable Black Figures
Sometimes the best thing we can do is simply learn about people we might not know much about. If you live in the U.S you likely have heard the name Stacy Abrams over and over again, but do you really know what she’s achieved? How well do you know Barack & Michelle Obama’s origin story? Did you know it was a black man who pioneered the first open heart surgery? Research black artists, athletes, politicians, professionals, inventors, educators, and celebrities you’ve heard of but might not really really know. You might find someone new who inspires and excites you!
These gestures might seem small at first glance, but they go a long way in letting your community know how much you care about black culture and want to see our people succeed. Yes, February is just one, short month, but these are examples of things you can do all year round. It doesn’t stop with black culture either. Remember that March is Women’s History month, May is Asian Heritage month, and June is Pride month (just to name a few).
So what do you think? Will you be celebrating black history this month? Is there anything you’d add to the list? Let me know in the comments if you have any thoughts. I always love to hear from you. ❤
Until next time,
Carry on wifeys & gents!
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