An excerpt of this article was featured in TIME.
When first founded as Black History Week (in 1926), commemorative events were organized to promote rich rhetorical, educational, and artistic expressions that highlighted the achievements of Black people. When established as a month-long observance in 1976, the commemoration was expanded to a national celebration of Black culture and achievement.
However, many organizations have used this time to focus on educating their populations on problems and issues that still harm and marginalized members of the Black community. Where the focus on painful experiences is necessary and needed throughout the year, it should not be positioned as the primary driver for Black History Month initiatives, events, or programs. It was founded with the intent to uplift and inspire despite the presence of brutal oppression.
With that in mind, before we get to meaningful ways to celebrate Black History Month, let’s get clear on a few things Black History month is not….
Black History Month is Not…
Now that we’re on the same page about what BHM is not, here are some great ideas for infusing honor and enthusiasm into your Black History Month plans this year:
Black History is American History, and instead of seeking to separate it from our present reality (looking at you, Desantis), it’s our collective opportunity to center and celebrate Black culture year round.