Black Lives Matter demonstration by alessandrobiascioli, 123RF
February marks the beginning of Black History Month. It’s a time to celebrate and recognize the contributions, achievements, and the impact of the African American community throughout history.
It’s time to go beyond the bare minimum of sharing quotes from Martin Luther King and celebrate the community’s history with more intention and meaning.
We’ve come up with five ways to celebrate and honor Black History Month on social media:
Shine the spotlight on Black-owned businesses and creators
African American woman holding a tray of seedlings by seventyfour74, 123RF
It’s a (sad) fact that Black businesses tend to fail more than their white counterparts. No thanks to structural racial barriers, smaller business capital, and higher interest rates.
A simple act of sharing your favorite Black-owned businesses can give them a quick boost to their visibility and gather support for them.
Depending on your brand or page, you can highlight Black businesses in similar industries. For example, share about your favorite skincare or makeup brands owned by African Americans, or makeup products that are inclusive of dark skin tones.
All in all, it’s a meaningful way to support Black businesses.
Showcase African American art, literature and music
African American jazzman playing the saxophone by nomadsoul1, 123RF
Many Black artists, writers, and musicians have made tremendous contributions to the cultural fabric of our society – think jazz, disco, r&b, hip-hop, blues and more. They’ve paved the way for modern music to flourish and have even become an integral part of the music industry.
Sharing and promoting their works on social media helps to recognize and pay homage and give credit where it is due.
Get a short history lesson
Lawyer shaking hands with judge by freedomtumz, 123RF
Virtually everyone knows icons like Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, but what about figures like Claudette Colvin or Mary Kenner?
There are so many impressive figures that have changed the course of history but aren’t usually highlighted in history books.
Fact: Claudette Colvin was arrested in 1955 for refusing to give up her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. She was 15 at the time.
The women definitely have to thank Mary Kenner for being a genius – inventing the sanitary belt, which eventually evolved into sanitary pads – and awarded a number of patents.
Given that the Black community has often been sidelined and denied equality and education because of their skin tone, these achievements are all the more impressive and a testament to their tenacity.
Sharing about these can bring awareness to the significant events and achievements in Black history.
Participate in online events and discussions
African American young woman streaming a beauty vlog by olesiabilkei, 123RF
Many organizations and communities host online events, discussions and forums during Black History Month.
Participating in these events is a great way to learn, connect and engage with others who share a similar interest in Black history and culture.
There’s also been an increase of social media takeovers by Black creators or Black public figures to share their perspectives on their respective industries. In a way, that’s giving the Black community a direct and powerful platform to share their experiences and thoughts.
Be an ally and advocate for change
Transgender protester sitting on the streets by smutkoalex, 123RF
Black History Month is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness about local community initiatives advocating for issues prevalent in Black communities.
Ways to promote these initiatives to your social media circle are calling for donations to a social cause or highlighting an organization that aligns with your values.
“Black history is American history”
Like Morgan Freeman once said, “I don’t want a Black History Month. Black history is American history.”
With conversations about racism, white supremacism, and social justice taking place more in online spaces, it’s important to note that the Black community needs support all year round.
Make mindful decisions about when and how to celebrate the Black community, and how it would fit into your overall content plan in the future.
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