Welcome back to Preparture Thursday! We’re 3 weeks into celebrating Black History Month, and today we’re coming at you with 4 ways you can celebrate Black History Month yourself. If you’ve been reading along for the past two weeks, you’ll have seen our first two posts all about the history of Black History Month plus a few of its most influential figures. If you’ve not caught up yet, why not head to those posts first? You can find them here and here.
If you’re all up to date, brilliant, let’s crack on with the 4 ways you can celebrate Black History Month (even if you’re stuck in lockdown).
#1 – Diversify your bookshelf
If you’re an avid reader, you’ll love nothing more than catching the latest recommendations to add to your ever-growing collection. Have you ever stopped and taken a look at your bookshelf though? Is it diverse, or are your shelves lacking color? It’s certainly good to take a step back and re-evaluate sometimes.
If your books do all fall around the same genres and writers, there’s no need to worry. Diversifying your shelves is an important step to take, but it can be done in steps, and you there’s no need to chastise yourself – simply take note and then take action. You’ll soon uncover a new and exciting world full of fiction and non-fiction writers who’ll not only open your eyes to new cultures and ways of life, but give you an impressive new world with a fresh voice to dive into.
If you’re looking for some direct inspiration, check out this post that’s full to the brim of fiction and non-fiction books by Black authors.
And, if you’re looking for some personal fiction recommendations, I’ve recently loved: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo, Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams, Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, An American Marriage by Tayari Jones and both Brit Bennet’s novels The Mothers & The Vanishing Half.
Want to take it to the next level? Why not create a book club based around your new reading list and have conversations about the books you’re reading? Who knows the insights you could discover from simply chatting about the themes that come up in your books?
#2 – Diversify Your Nights in Front of the TV
We’re not all bookworms, that’s for sure. For some of us, curling up in front of the TV with some snacks and a good drink is the perfect way to pass the time during the pandemic. I hear you. Why not diversify your watch lists and plunge into new worlds – that’s the point of a good TV show or movie right? To bring everything we could imagine to life before our eyes, and sometimes to educate us along the way.
You don’t need to be watching educational shows or movies for it to make an impact by the way. Black people don’t just create pieces about slavery and colonialism. Sometimes you need a lighthearted comedy, a romcom, or a good thriller. They’re all there waiting to be watched. Having said that, there are plenty of documentaries and movies that’ll open your eyes and leave you thinking afterwards if that’s what you’re looking for. Want the lowdown on some of the best TV shows and movies to add to your watch list? This post is a good place to start to find out more.
Want to take it to the next level? Just like our book club recommendation in #1, you could watch these movies through Netflix Party and discuss some of the themes that play out in the movies you choose. Or, go one step further and create a quiz to check how closely your friends or housemates were watching. The discussions that could come up from these conversations could be life altering and open your eyes.
#3 – Support Black Owned Businesses
Black owned businesses are booming, thanks to a somewhat more equal representation that’s finally starting to seep through the system. That’s great news, and if you’re looking to purchase a few treats (which you really need to do – this is a pandemic you know, you deserve to treat yourself), why not buy them from Black owned businesses?
Not sure how to find them specifically? Google’s got your back. Since the beginning of February, Google have had ‘Black-owned Business’ added to their shopping tab, making it easier to identify and buy from Black-owned businesses across the US. This was thanks to a 600% boom of Google searches looking specifically for Black-owned businesses in 2019 and early 2020.
When you do buy from a Black-owned business, don’t forget to leave feedback on their site, or promote them on your social media as you would any other business – tagging them as you go. The feedback can help cement a budding businessman or woman’s future in the business industry and it shows your thanks and support.
#4 – Become an Ally and Reflect on Your Actions
2020 was a life altering year for so many, including the Black community. With harrowing and horrific murders played out on screen for the world to see, and the constant flow of news highlighting the blatant racism that was clearly so rampant across the globe, there was a worldwide shift that was almost palpable.
2020 saw protests that were supported by white allys – but that’s an action that demands continuation. Your work as an ally can never stop. Whether you donate to charities and actionable causes, sign petitions, invest your time and energy into reading or watching diverse TV shows and movies, or fight for the movement, you can be a voice for the Black community, and you can make a difference.
It goes without saying that following these tips doesn’t just come to an end once February comes to an end. Black History Month is just the start – Black History Month is every month, and you should be on a life-changing mission to diversify your life. We hope you’ll take our tips and tricks and pass them onto your friends and family so that we can all reap the benefits of Black culture, business, and voices. Every step, no matter how small it may seem at the time, is a step in the right direction. Thanks for reading along – we’ll see you next week for Preparture Thursday.
Want to say thanks and help spread the word of our blog posts? Feel free to save our Pins!