Happy National Black History Month! This cultural heritage month started in February 1986 by Black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University. February was chosen to celebrate Black history and heritage as it is the birth month of two important figures in the history of Black Americans: Abraham Lincoln, who issued the Emancipation Proclamation, and African American abolitionist, author, and orator Frederic Douglass. An important theme in Black history, and the theme of Black History Month in 2023, is Black Resistance. The Association for the Study of African American Life and History states that “ Black people have sought ways to nurture and protect Black lives, and for the autonomy of their physical and intellectual bodies through … voluntary emigration, nonviolence, education, literature, sports, media, and legislation/politics. Black-led institutions and affiliations have lobbied, litigated, legislated, protested, and achieved success.”
We’ve listed some ways to celebrate and remember Black History this month:
- Supporting Black-owned businesses
- There are thousands of Black-owned businesses all throughout Arizona! Check out this website for a directory of Black-owned businesses, including gifts and art, doctors, non-profit organizations, and more!
- Learn about historically important Black figures
- Black Americans have changed the course of history. From scientists, Olympians, lawyers, and more, here are 26 History-Making Black Americans.
- Online panels and discussions
- Check out the official Black History Month website for weekly events throughout February!