I am a white mom, living in a predominately white city, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t care about Black History Month.
February is Black History Month (also known as African American History Month). It is an annual celebration of the achievements made by African Americans. It is a chance to reflect on and recognize the important role of Black Americans in U.S. History. This year I am committed to taking time to be intentional about listening to, learning, and celebrating Black stories and history.
Our country has such a rich history that includes many stories of African Americans we may not know.
Here are some ways you can celebrate Black History Month.
Learn about black history.
There are a lot of things in our country’s history you probably weren’t taught in your high school history class. Ask questions and spend time learning for yourself the history of black Americans in our country. We can’t understand their journey if we don’t know their stories.
Talk about it with your kids.
I want to have conversations with my kids about racism, diversity, and Black History. Books are a great way to start these conversations. Here are 10 children’s books that are great conversation starters. When you’re buying books or getting them at the library, make a point to look for books with characters who look different than you.
Support black-owned businesses.
Put your money where your mouth is and support black business owners in our community. If you’re looking for black-owned businesses in Des Moines, here’s a list of restaurants.
Listen to, read, or watch shows, books, and podcasts by black authors.
There is a lot that I don’t know or understand when it comes to black history and one of the easiest ways to learn is by watching movies or shows about it or listening to podcasts. Some of my favorites include: Dear Martin, Just Mercy, Hidden Figures, The Vanishing Half, and One Night in Miami.
Follow black voices on social media.
It’s easy to live in a bubble surrounded by voices and people who are just like you. But you can’t grow if you don’t broaden your horizons and be intentional about hearing other perspectives. If you’re like me, you probably spend more time than you care to admit scrolling on your phone. Diversify the people and businesses you follow to get a broader view of the world.