10 things about Black History Month

To celebrate Black History Month we have selected a series of resources that could be useful to deepen the knowledge of African American History and to support the community. 

Since 1976, every American president has designated February as Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme. The Black History Month 2021 theme, “Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity” explores the African diaspora, and the spread of Black families across the United States.

Let’s start with the historical background:

  • In Oprah magazine there is an immersive article by McKenzie Jean-Philippe, where the story of Black History month is explained since the its inception, providing insights on the reason why this celebration happens in February, as well as recommendations on 4 American Classics to Read This Black History Month. Additional resources can be found on history.com
  • If you’d like to deepen your knowledge with a more interactive experience, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture is offering a wide range of digital programs for all ages this February. This month will also see the digital return of one of its signature programs, A Seat at the Table, an interactive program for participants to consider challenging questions about race, identity and economic justice over a meal. The February session will cover race, justice and mass incarceration in the United States. Read more about the program here.

Education

Facing History and Ourselves, helps students connect choices made in the past to those they might confront in their own lives. Their resources address racism, antisemitism, and prejudice at pivotal moments in history. 

This February, schools across the US recognize Black History Month with lessons, activities, and events meant to spotlight important figures in Black history and milestone events in the trajectory of Black life in America. This year alongside the lessons of Black history, Facing history is celebrating Black History Month by honouring the themes of Black Agency & Black Joy. 

Plenty of resources are available on the platform, useful for teachers and students for anyone interested to explore how Black Americans are making history today.

Books

25 Must Read Books For Black History Month, from classic novels to contemporary memoirs, this list shows just how vast and rich the black literary experience is.

10 books for children selected by the staff at Save the Children

These are excellent reads all year long, this February could be a way to kick off the habit. 🙂

Podcasts and Shows

NPR is celebrating Black History Month with multiple podcasts and shows. You can tune in their playlist on Spotify with a collection of episodes from NPR and beyond, or you can monitor news and updates on shows from this page.

At work

As part of D&I policy and practices it’s important to make room for exploration for all team members. In this blog there are 8 ideas to celebrate Black History Month in the Workplace. 

In addition, here there are some recommendations from NAACP for this month (and all year long) on how brands can provide a meaningful contribution.

Black Owned Businesses

Through the Official Black Wall street app and website you’ll be able to discover thousands of Black owned businesses locally and online. This month together with Clover Commerce they will be launching the Black History Month 2021 Virtual Marketplace. Check their Instagram account to learn more.

App Store

To honour Black History month the Apple app store has dedicated a section where users can visit the Black History Month Hub spotlighting Black-owned businesses, developers, entertainment/gaming apps, and social justice apps.

The experience includes:

Music: with a curated section on Apple Music playlists, essays, original videos, and more from Black influencers, musicians, authors, and directors.

Maps: customers can enjoy curated Apple Maps Guides created in collaboration with EatOkra, a Black-owned business directory app based in Brooklyn, New York.

Apple TV: this month’s theme for “Essential Stories” on the Apple TV app will spotlight the multidimensionality of the Black family and its representation on screen.

Apple News: Apple News readers can explore curated topic groups that will highlight the best journalism around race in America. Separately, a special Apple News+ Spotlight collection will feature audio articles that celebrate the Black experience. Readers can dive even deeper by visiting the Racial Justice Spotlight, an ongoing collection of articles that includes education on anti-racism, mental-health resources, and ideas to benefit their community.

Apple Books: a broad new collection on Apple Books will highlight great books and audiobooks by Black authors across a variety of genres, including literary fiction, history, memoirs, and books for young readers.

Visit the dedicated section to learn more.

Even though this list is far from complete, we hope you’ll find it useful and as the conversation continues, feel free to reach out and share some other interesting resources, websites and activities for our community of change makers.