February is just around the corner. Usually, what comes to mind is that the "love month" is here again. Better halves cooking up something to give their partners on Valentine's Day. But what many of us miss out in February is the commemoration of Black History Month.
Yes, Black History Month is a well-known celebration in February, too! It dates way back in 1926 when Carter G. Woodson, the Father of Black History, initiated the Negro History Week. He wanted the African American experience to be discussed by people from varied social backgrounds and ethnicities. And by African American experience, he meant slavery, inequality, injustice, and ultimately racism. Over the years, the event had evolved into a month-long celebration; and five decades later, then U.S. President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month. Come 1986, Congress passed into law what is now known and celebrated as the National Black History Month. After that, even other countries have started celebrating it, too.
Like Woodson, other African Americans who have notably influenced the historical and cultural landscape were Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, to name a few. Their unrelenting fight against slavery had opened doors in education, science, business and economy.
Today, as entrepreneurship and e-commerce have become the major players in the digital arena, let's take a look at some ways we can take part, in our own little way, celebrating Black History month…
Consider taking one of your verticals to collaborate with an African American-owned business. Build campaigns to promote awareness not only during the month-long celebration, but also year-round.
Take some time to spotlight African American voices or influences in your niche or industry. Invite an African American industry expert to speak in one of your company events or webinars; consider regularly featuring in your newsletter, blog, or social media pages a valued African American employee who makes a positive impact in your organization.
Support a charity that is aligned with African American causes. Make a gift or donation to a movement that espouses equality and justice.
Ultimately, creating social awareness is a good way to start. With the majority of businesses shifting to social media and online operations, leveraging this opportunity and platform to recognize and honor African Americans will truly create a meaningful impact to the digital society.
As brands begin to think of creative ways to incorporate Black History Month in their campaigns, it is important to remember that this celebration should not just be a seasonal effort, but rather one that is year-round. After all, African Americans have suffered long and hard, and have gone through a lot back in the day; but their resilience, hard work, and dedication are just some of the qualities that we can aspire to manifest in this day and age.
We invite you to recognize Black History Month with us this month and to take actions that actively foster equity and inclusion. Custom order for a Black American friend, family or colleague today.