Beasley Best Community of Caring – Distracted Driving Awareness!

Beasley Best Community of Caring – Distracted Driving Awareness!

Beasley Best Community of Caring – Distracted Driving Awareness!

Black History Month is a time to honor and celebrate Black excellence. A time to shift focus to the Black heroes and pioneers who have shaped history. It highlights the importance of being an ally to marginalized communities. Having a monthlong celebration of Black history is great, but it’s important to honor and recognize Black history all year long. Here are some ways to do that.

Celebrating Black History Beyond February

Also known as African American History Month, this event originated from “Negro History Week,” created by historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has designated February as Black History Month. The History Channel reports that other countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also dedicate a month to celebrate Black history.

In 1976, former President Gerald Ford expanded Negro History Week to a full month. He expressed the need for the nation to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

The history of Black History Month dates back to 1915, fifty years after the abolition of slavery in the United States through the Thirteenth Amendment.

In September of that year, Woodson and prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). This organization focused on researching and promoting the achievements of Black Americans and others of African descent.

Now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the group initiated a national Negro History Week in 1926, selecting the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. This event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs, and host performances and lectures.

Black History Month allows us to question what we’ve learned, dig deeper, and discover overlooked events from the past.

Check out some ways you can celebrate Black history all year long.

  • Visit Museums And Exhibits Focused On Black History

    Consider a visit to the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C. As part of the Smithsonian, it houses collections and exhibits that will both move and inspire you, featuring art and artifacts spanning our nation’s history. Check out Baltimore’s National Great Blacks in Wax Museum for life-size wax figures of historical figures like Harriet Tubman and Billie Holiday. For a more interactive experience, head to Detroit’s Motown Museum. In Studio A, you can sing along and explore exhibits and memorabilia celebrating the influential history of Motown, including artists like Marvin Gaye, the Four Tops, the Supremes, the Jackson 5, and Stevie Wonder.

  • Watch Black History Inspired Movies

    Explore true events through films like Loving and Hidden Figures. Loving is a praised drama depicting the Supreme Court case that made interracial marriage illegal until 1967. It follows the real-life story of Richard and Mildred Loving, sentenced to a year in jail for marrying. Hidden Figures tells the tales of three Black women scientists at NASA during the Civil Rights era. Movies inspired by moments in Black history can help you gain insights into these crucial moments in Black history through these movies.

  • Read Black History Inspired Books

    Read Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad set in the 1800s American South, following an escaped slave’s journey north on a literal underground railroad. If you want to read something with a more artsy feel, check out Ron Wimberly’s Black History in Its Own Words which features pop art portraits of Black artists with impactful quotes. Also, explore The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story, expanding on the New York Times project, with essays exploring the legacy of slavery in the present day.

  • Shop Black Businesses

    Supporting a Black-owned business is an excellent means to provide direct financial support to the Black community in your community. Moreover, you might discover a new favorite restaurant or shopping spot in the process! If you’re a book enthusiast, explore Black-owned bookstores and get books by Black authors. This not only exposes you to companies promoting diversity but also contributes to increased representation, visibility, and economic development.

  • Watch Documentaries

    How about diving into documentaries about Black history? There’s plenty available, many directed by Black filmmakers and centered on entertainers, political figures, and activists. Check out Good Hair, a unique Chris Rock production by Jeff Stilson, focusing on the historical perspectives of Black women about their hair. Another moving documentary is I Am Not Your Negro, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, inspired by James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript, “Remember This House,” containing notes and letters from the mid-1970s.

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