10 Ways to Celebrate African American History Month in February 2021
By the Executive Service Corps
Published February 2021
1. Buy a book about a person from African American history from an African American-owned independent bookstore.
The Executive Service Corps recommends you check out: Afriware Books, Co. (Maywood, IL ), Da Book Joint (Chicago, IL ), Lushena Bookstore (Bensenville, IL), Semicolon (Chicago, IL), The Underground Bookstore (Chicago, IL) or check out nonprofit bookstores like 57th Street Books and The Seminary Co-op (Chicago, IL).
2. Visit (in person or virtually) an African American history or Civil Rights museum.
The Executive Service Corps recommends the DuSable Museum of African American History. The museum’s website features extensive access to the museum’s exhibits.
3. Open a savings account at an African American owned financial institution.
Minority Depository Institutions and community-based credit unions can offer a way to literally put your money where your mouth is. African American owned banks with branches in Illinois include Liberty Bank and Trust, OneUnited Bank, GN Bank, and South Side Community Federal Credit Union.
4. Learn about an unsung hero of African American history.
Diversify your knowledge of history by seeking out the story of a hero from African American history, then help yourself remember what you learned by telling a friend. If you don’t know where to start, you can visit Black Past’s people section.
5. Educate yourself on the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
During the Tulsa Race Massacre a white mob attacked residents, homes and businesses in the predominantly Black Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The carnage remains one of the worst incidents of racial violence in U.S. history, and one of the least known.
6. Eat a meal (or several) at an African American owned restaurant.
Order a meal from an African American owned restaurant. You can smell and taste traditional African American cuisine from Soul Vegetarian, Majani, Soule, Pearl’s Place, Luella’s, or Bettie Lou’s. There is an easy search tool to find African American owned restaurants in your community at Eat Black Owned.
7. Entertain yourself with a civil rights or history inspired performance.
Theatres, choirs, and bands have adapted to provide productions online and in person. Performances are a memorable way to enjoy African American history. There are many groups that focus on the African American experiences including Red Clay Dance, Muntu Dance Theatre, Black Ensemble Theater, and many more.
8. Get informed about the Rosewood Massacre.
The Rosewood Massacre was an attack on the predominantly African American town of Rosewood, Florida, in 1923 by large groups of white supremacists. The town was entirely destroyed by the end of the violence, and the residents who were not murdered were permanently driven out.
9. Subscribe to African American owned media.
Supporting media outlets through subscriptions can diversify your thought and the available platforms in the media landscape for everyone. There is a variety of publications serving different areas of interest from The Final Call to Her Agenda.
10. Purchase art from a local African American artist.
Artists such as the AfriCOBRA collective and those in the Black Arts Movement bring the past to the present by utilizing their talent to create an experience of history. Supporting a local artist has an exceptionally high impact during times of economic distress.
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