Each year, Black History Month puts the spotlight on Black peoples’ journey from slavery to full citizenship in the United States. In addition, it serves to remind everyone of the work still needed to achieve true equality for all.

This month is also a time to celebrate the achievements of civil rights leaders and other individuals who’ve fought and continue to fight for the rights of African Americans. For those reasons, February serves as an inspirational, yet somber month full of learning and remembrance for adults and kids alike.

Events celebrating Black History Month happen at the school level, in the workplace, and with friends and family, giving everyone a chance to pay their respects and learn from history. If you’re looking to take your events to the next level, cardboard cutouts can help. Here’s what you need to know.

2021 Black History Month Theme ­

In 2020, Black History Month explored how Black people fought for 150 years for the right to vote. For 2021, the focus will switch to “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.” The annual theme comes from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, which was founded by the father of Black history, Dr. Carter G. Woodson.

Wall mural of Carter G. Woodson.

“Carter G. Woodson” by dbking is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Events will explore this topic in great detail, opening up many wonderful conversations about defining, supporting, and preserving Black families. As you figure out how to celebrate Black History Month at work, school, and home this year, keep this focus in mind while you plan each activity. That way, you can help start beneficial talks that promote true equality.

Ways to Celebrate Black History Month

You can celebrate Black History Month in meaningful ways whether you’re at work or hanging out with friends. Here’s how.

Powerful Ways to Celebrate Black History Month at Work

1. Invite Speakers to Talk About Diversity

When it comes to diversity and inclusion in the workplace, practically every company can find ways to make improvements. The best way to get started on that is by bringing in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, or BIPOC, speakers to open up the conversation. In addition to having them share their stories and insights, allow your team to ask questions that put the spotlight on issues that need attention in your own firm.

2. Support Tons of Black-Owned Businesses

Black History Month is a great time to extend support to Black-owned businesses, like Fenty Beauty, Temple Zen, and Devacurl. To do that, consider buying their products and creating gift bags for your employees. You can also bring in catering services from your local BIPOC owned and operated restaurants. If you want to go all out, give everyone a paid day to volunteer with nonprofits that support the Black community, like Black Lives Matter, the Page Education Foundation, and  100 Black Men of America.

3. Put Up Wall Murals in Honor of Civil Rights Leaders

To keep everyone’s mind on Black History Month and its family theme, put up custom wall murals of all the greats, including Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. You can also get cardboard cutouts to add depth to your displays and get everyone talking. At the end of the month, you can put away the removable murals for next year or donate them to a nonprofit for use in their own facilities.

Fun Ways to Celebrate Black History Month with Friends

The second anyone in your friend group asks, “Why do we celebrate Black History Month,” is the perfect moment to start planning informative activities, like:

  • Create a Black History Month trivia event and hand out prizes from BIPOC shops
  • Take a group trip to a BIPOC museum or art gallery, and then recreate the works of art
  • Host a watch party for Black History Month movies, like Hidden Figures and 13th
  • Volunteer together at all your favorite BIPOC nonprofits each week
  • Pool your resources to make a large monetary donation to BIPOC nonprofits
  • Go shopping and eat out at Black-owned establishments in your community

As you enjoy open dialogue about Black culture and history, everyone can learn the importance of this month’s celebrations.

8 Black History Month Activities for Kids

Whether they’re in the classroom or at home, kids absolutely love to learn. They are particularly in tune with human rights and have tons of empathy for what people have gone through in their lives.

To help them learn what transpired and dream up ways to promote true equality for all, there are many Black History Month activities for kids, such as:

  1. Watch family-friendly historical movies
  2. Research Black History Month facts
  3. Complete a timeline of important Black history events
  4. Explore BIPOC works of art
  5. Recreate famous works of art by Black artists
  6. Watch the ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech and talk about It
  7. Take a trip to local Black History Month events
  8. Create a wall mural of Black leaders to display all month long

Keep the family theme in mind as you plan each activity to let kids fully engage with the lessons to be learned from Black History Month this year.

If you run out of Black History Month ideas for things to do, use kids’ questions as inspiration. Search the web for their inquiries and immerse them in the answer in meaningful ways. If they ask about when and how slavery was abolished, have them do research and make dioramas of pivotal moments in that journey.

Use Cardboard Cutout Standees to Celebrate Black History Month

Now that you know how to celebrate Black History Month, look to Cardboard Cutout Standees for ways to elevate all your events and activities. Whether you use wall murals to set the stage for inspirational speeches or create life-size cutouts of inspirational Black leaders, you’ll love to see how your efforts get people talking. By opening up dialogue and promoting learning, you can help elicit real change in the pursuit of equality for all Black men, women, and children.