“We must never forget that Black History is American History. The achievements of African Americans have contributed to our nation’s greatness.”
– Yvette Clarke
Black History Month is the annual designated time to celebrate the many contributions of African Americans and preserves the richness of our African heritage as it illuminates through black culture and expression.
There are so many ways you can celebrate Black History Month, and I’m going to share my favorite 6!
Study an Influential Person
Many African Americans play key roles in influencing change and cultural awareness. So this mouth would be a great opportunity to study a different influential person each week. Broaden your knowledge of the many African Americans throughout history who helped shape America. Although there are many great resources out there, my personal favorite is Scholastics! They offer some great resources to get you started.
Add to Your Library
When I was young, I had this love/hate relationship with reading. I felt like the books were treasures of so many stories to make me laugh, learn, and wonder; however, none of the characters looked like me. Today, thousands of writers are diversifying their stories with color and culture. Among the many great African American authors to choose from, you can find an array of fiction, poetry, memoirs, and more. A great place to start researching titles and stories would be the African American Literature Book Club!
Museums and Monuments
We visited the African American Museum in Dallas and fell in LOVE!! This place is simply a hidden treasure!
The African American Museum of Dallas was founded in 1974 and has devoted time to the preservation and display of African American history, achieving the largest African American Folk-Art collection in the United States. Way to go Dallas.
“The more you know of your history the more liberated you are.”
Break out the popcorn and coke floats! Take some family time to watch a movie that could educate and influence the entire family. Some of my family’s favorites are:
- Hidden Figures
- The Help
- Remember the Titans
And we add Black Panther to the list not only to celebrate black films, but because we are Marvel FANS!!
Oh, and if you didn’t know, Red Box will bring back old titles each month, especially during holidays and observances. I’m sure you won’t have any problem finding a great one!
Want to go out to the Movies?
Catch the new movie, Harriet, which depicts the life of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery to freedom. Or catch the unique A Raisin in the Sun in Arlington from February 14 – March 8. See website for more details.
Create and Savor an African American Meal
Take family time into the kitchen and savor the taste of a southern meal. African American recipes were passed down through the generations becoming known as soul food. Rich cultural entrées like Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Smothered Greens, Crawfish Etouffee, or Shrimp with Curry Cream can make your mouth water as the smells fill your home. I could talk food ALL DAY LONG… Seriously, can’t you even celebrate black history without conjointly celebrating soul food! Check out this article by Allrecipes, they give some great recipes for the all-time favorites.
Celebrate at a Local Event
Most local libraries embrace the opportunity to celebrate culture. During the entire mouth, Dallas Libraries will have an array of celebrations geared to families. Here are a few picks from some of my family’s favorite libraries.
Dallas Public Library: Throughout the month you can find time to make and take crafts for the kids during the various Black History Month Story & Craft times, explore the exciting world of African Dance or simply sit back and enjoy the rhythm of cultural expression in various Blues, Jazz or Hip Hop shows. This link will provide you with dates and times for libraries across the metroplex.
Cedar Hill Public Library: This place is my jam! It is a small library with a big heart. On February 10 at 6:30 PM, the entire family can enjoy the soulful storytelling of Toni Simmons along with light refreshments. The library also displays many African American books and authors in an easily accessible way.
Here are a few more events to explore:
- Traditional folktale story time provided by Smith Public Library in Wylie, TX.
- On February 15, join Dr. George Keaton as he leads The Neighborhood History. The walk lasts for an hour as you discuss Joppa, Tenth Street, Eagle Ford, State Thomas, and other West Dallas Areas.
- The Black Academy of Arts and Letters
- Spiritual Sunday on February 23. More details at the link.
What ways do you celebrate Black History Month? Please, share!