How White People Can Celebrate Black History Month Without Making It Weird
It’s Black History Month, which feels like a sigh of relief. We made it. Last year at this time, the pandemic was just beginning and it seemed like a little thing that would just blow over. But oh did shit get weird. Now, we’re back like we never left. So in that regard, I’m going to celebrate Black history and making it through. Because that’s the Blackest thing we do: find a way to celebrate in the midst of chaos.
And because I’ve grown as a person, I’ve decided to reach across the aisle and provide a list of five things white people can do to celebrate Black History Month responsibly.
As in, celebrating without offending anyone. It’s crazy that I had to say that.
Black Movie Marathon
This one is easy: Take a Saturday, get your favorite food together and watch some Black movies. Now, when I say Black movies, I don’t mean White Chicks by the Wayans brothers. I mean the ones that are going to make you uncomfortable — Roots, Mississippi Burning, Fruitvale Station and Selma.
Support a Black Business
I’m thinking at least once a week. Don’t mess this up. I’m not asking you to go buy Black items like African art, kente cloth–inspired jeans or rims for your car. We sell regular shit, too. Whatever your hobby is, find a Black producer of that. You could order wine from Brown Estate or order toothpaste from Smile Natural Products. You whites love yoga; find a Black-owned yoga studio. Do the work. You’ll be better for it.
Post About Racial Injustice
If you’re watching this, you’re obviously on social media. This month, every Friday, you’re gonna post about racial injustice. Show the world — or, more importantly, your circle of friends — that you no longer stand next to negativity, bigotry and injustice. Now we’re getting somewhere. I don’t care how it looks. Hopefully your followers DM you asking you what that’s about. Have that conversation.
Donate to a Black Youth Program
This is America — it’s not real until money is involved. The children are our future, so let’s stand next to that. Particularly Black children. There’s a youth program for whatever you’re into. Find that and donate. Currently I’m repping Black Boys Code. I 100 percent support this cause, and you should, too.
Make a Concerted Effort to Be Better
Take a personal account of your racial bias, actions and misguided racial thoughts. Write them down, and then research where they come from. Think about how you came to believe this nonsense, and be better. This is real work. But that’s okay — so is being Black.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve decided to double down on the positives and let go of the negatives. I also believe that’s what honoring American Black history is all about — a celebration of the triumphs of a group of people who have found a way to thrive when America has done everything it can to stop them. When I say it like that, it sounds amazing, huh? So let’s celebrate together. Even you white people. You’re welcome.
Hit me up if you want to make sure your celebratory actions are non-offensive. I’ll respond sarcastically, but it’ll be helpful.