by BRANDY RUSSELL
Now that we're days into Black History Month you’ve had time to celebrate Rosa Park's birthday, boycott the State of the Union, boycott the Super Bowl and celebrate the birthdays of our beloved Trayvon Martin and Sandra Bland. For many of us, celebrating this month is more than just an observance for 28 days. Black History Month is a month dedicated to reflecting on our history, proclaiming our culture, remembering our heroes and announcing our presence.
If you've found yourself hitting a wall on how to commemorate our black history, below are 5 ways in celebrating:
1. Take Part in the Culture
Cooking a soul food meal is a personal fave of mine when indulging in my black culture but there's many other things you can do and cook throughout the month to celebrate. Traditional African dishes like Curry Chicken or Jolif Rice may be something you can find yourself cooking but if cooking isn’t your thing, use your creativity. Learning about African attire and having an open mind to wear dashikis, motherland tees or Fulani braids can easily be a way in celebrating. (But please don't pull a Kim K and wear them unconsciously. There's a history behind these styles.)
2. Support Black Owned Businesses
In addition to being creative during Black History Month, put your money where your mouth is! Some have already made a lifestyle of supporting the advancement of black people and one way they're doing it is by contributing to Black Owned Businesses. Let's take a moment to recognize former President Barack Obama for his efforts in improving the entrepreneurship and unemployment rates among the black community. Obama's efforts have spawned great businesses ranging from natural hair care product lines, unapologetically black clothing boutiques, brands and more. Hurry up and buy!
3. Support Black Lit
If you are anything like me there's a slew of Black Literature awaiting your consumption. Tony Morrison, James Baldwin, and Bell Hooks have been trending recently for their timeless provocative pieces. While I love modern classics, I encourage you to take a deeper dive. Narrative of a Slave (Fredrick Douglas) deep. Reading black literature is a definite way in celebrating our history.
4. Share Your Black Facts
Educate others. We are responsible for not only the image we project but the message we accept. Black people dating back to the beginning of time have been doing wonderful, amazing, outright astonishing things in this country. The media and our education system have chosen to only show the accomplishments of a select few. Use your accessible platforms either it being social media or your work cubicle to go out and tell our stories.
5. See Black Panther
Last but not least, support Black Art in it’s finest form from Ryan Coogler. BLACK PANTHER. A BLACK superhero! And just mentions of the film trend on Twitter daily. But if you're one of the few people (white people) who still don't understand the film's importance let me further explain. Simply put, it’s a mainstream high dollar film with a majority back cast occupying a piece of history usually reserved for white heroes. Our sons and daughters have constantly been forced to understand a narrative about their life not controlled by them. Black Panther creates a new narrative we can all be proud of. Throughout history black people have been dehumanized. Now we can see ourselves as the hero. As a fierce, strong unit. Take the opportunity to be apart of history still being made and support this film.
This list has ended but don't let that limit you for the month. There's still many other things you can go out and do to commemorate our black history.
We encourage you to use the remaining days left this February 2018 to create your own narrative of black culture, black excellence and Black History Month!