Courtesy of Texas A&M Department of Multicultural Services
This year, it’s easier than ever to celebrate Black History Month from the comfort of your own home. Here are a few ways to give back to and learn more from the Black community this month.
Take a virtual field trip
The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and The Museum of African American Art are offering virtual tours, complete with visuals and all the educational information you need. Many other museums offer virtual field trips such as the Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.
Attend virtual concerts by Black musicians
Most musicians are financially suffering right now without touring, so some are offering virtual live concerts for their fans. Attending live shows featuring Black musicians, as well as supporting them by buying their music or merchandise, can make a huge difference. NPR’s viral series “Tiny Desk Concert” is releasing three free concert videos each week of February from a group of beloved African American artists including Rick Ross, Giveon, 2 Chainz and Melanie Charles.
Support Black businesses
Whether local restaurants or online marketplaces, deliberately searching for Black businesses can help them reach larger audiences. Even the DIY aggregator Etsy is highlighting Black creators this month to help support African American small businesses. The organization Support Black Owned (SBO) has a function on their website to help you find black-owned businesses near you or online. Some Black-owned restaurants in Santa Rosa include Abyssinia, Sonoma Crust and Cafe Frida Gallery.
A free way to show support this Black History Month is by reading and learning more about Black culture, both contemporary and historical. There are plenty of articles and award-winning documentaries on every aspect of African American culture available online. Watching biopic and historical non-fiction movies like “Selma,” “12 Years A Slave” and “Do The Right Thing” is also a great way to start educating yourself. There are also equally great movies about the Black community that don’t highlight suffering and simply celebrate Black culture like “Dreamgirls,” “Friday” and “Moonlight.”
Black History Month is a special time for celebration and awareness. Although we cannot be together this year, we can show our love and support by educating ourselves, supporting Black artists and creators and simply loving our Black neighbors. Black History Month is finite, but support and celebration of the Black community can be infinite.