Black History Month Means More than Just Showing Up

Feb 18, 2020 | BM4F Spotlights, Young, Gifted & Green Blog Series | 0 comments

Every year since 1926, African Americans and allies from all over the country herald the laudable achievements of black people during Black History Month. Overtime, we have read aloud speeches from our ancestors in school programs and sang “Lift Every Voice” each Sunday at church. But Black History Month is more than just showing up to organized events…its more than just a summary of traditional programs.

What’s missing from Black History Month is the acknowledgement and assessment of the effort of our ancestors and living elders through reenactment of those some actions applied to current day. What are WE (millennials) doing to make sure we have both the resilience and stamina to carry this massive torch–illuminating the path to “liberty and justice for all”? Black History Month Convos and Cocktails are real cute, but how else should we “show up” during Black History Month and every other month, day and week of the year. Here are 3 major ways to show up AND show out #ForTheCulture during Black History Month and the other 11 months of the year:

Schedule Meetings with Your Local & State Elected Officials

How many black local and state officials do you have? Research if you don’t know and schedule appointments to meet with them. Google is your friend, my brothas and sistas! What is near and dear to your heart that can be greatly impacted by either the creation of new legislation or progressively transformed through current legislation. Often times, the biggest outcry in our cities and towns is the lack of funding which is very much an issue! Work with elected officials and demand transparency and constituent input as it relates to the local and state budget that will positively impact black people in your city or town. What is on their legislative agenda for this session? Is it inclusive of the black community? These are questions you should have in mind when preparing to meet with local elected officials. Now those will be some FIRE receipts when you reflect back on Black History Month!

Donate to Black Grassroots Organizations

While we should forever cherish our legacy, black civil rights organizations, it is imperative that we don’t forget about black grassroots organizations who are small and mighty and often times come out of their pockets to directly serve members of their community. That same coin you want to spend on a bottle of wine can literally help change the trajectory of the capacity and viability black grassroots organizations. This is not an attack on people’s freedom to spend how they please–nope so don’t even go there with the “stop policing black folks’ money”, but let’s channel the spirit of collectivism–UJIMA, where we work together to solve our own problems with our own resources. There is power in circulating the black dollar, but it is even greater when we are using our economic power to address major challenges in our own community.

Use social media as a method of activism

Listen, we can’t front…we all have a dirty habit of fishing for the hottest celebrity tea and the funniest memes on social media, but let’s make room for some legit woke content! Sharing eye-opening articles is cool, but what exactly do you want people to do with the information after they read it? At least once a day during Black History Month and once a week for the remainder of the year, create a call to action surrounding issues that are plaguing the black community. One example can be starting a poll on Twitter asking “Do you know where to find your city/town’s water quality report” followed by “If you find your’s, retweet with your city/town & state with the link for your water quality report…if you can’t find it @ your local water authority.” That literally takes 60 seconds and can legit start an entire movement!

My fellow millennials, we are the most educated group of humans in the history of humankind (BLACK WOMEN are the most educated people in the United States of America…MESSAGE!). We are more than equipped to tackle environmental racism, systemic oppression, white supremacy, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia…allludat! The key to black liberation is collective, intersectional organizing AND doing more than just stuntin on the gram for Black History Month…stunt with these outcomes that benefit the movement 365 days a year…#PERIODT!

Author: LaTricea D. Adams, MAT, EdS |Founder CEO & President, BM4F


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