Black History Month is both a celebration of the contributions of African Americans and a somber reflection on the struggles and prejudices of the past. Each year, we put a spotlight on the ongoing journey of Black Americans from slavery to full equality. By dedicating the month of February, we also create a regular reminder of the work still needed to realize the dream of equality for all.
February is also a great time to recognize the historical achievements of African Americans, including those involved in the civil rights movement. From remembering famous firsts to honoring fallen heroes, the month serves as a symbol of inspiration and an opportunity to learn about our shared past.
During Black History Month, organizations throughout society will create initiatives to pay their respects and learn from history. Schools will often decorate with wall decals of famous African American faces and provide hands-on lessons to curious young minds. Gathering places like restaurants, bars, and retail shops will often find relevant Black History themes for activities and wall decorations. Cardboard Cutout Standees is proud to join our nation in remembrance and celebration!
Origin Story of Black History Month
In 1926, Historian Carter G. Woodson established “Negro History Week” as the second week of February. The period was chosen because it contained the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass and former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. More than forty years later, Black History Month was proposed by students and educators attending Kent State University. Today, the month is observed throughout the United States, as well as Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.
Black History 2022 Theme: Black Health and Wellness
Dr. Woodson also created the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), which is dedicated to the study of Black history year around. According to the organization, the theme for the 2022 Black History Month is “Black Health and Wellness.” This subject captures the historical contributions of African Americans to medicine while recognizing the current challenges to public health.
Five Creative and Informative Ideas for Black History Month
Invite Speakers Or Create Displays About Interesting Black History Stories
While Martin Luther King, Jr certainly deserves his due honors, U.S. history is full of interesting stories and first black achievers. From elementary schools to corporations, every career and industry should be able to find great examples of historical achievement by Black people. Why not highlight those accomplishments with public speakers or eye-catching standing displays?
Dry cleaning businesses could talk about Sarah Boone, who received a patent for improving the ironing board in 1892. Delivery and trucking industries can highlight Garrett Morgan who invented the three-light traffic signal. Restaurants and food production companies should thank Frederick McKinley Jones, who created refrigerated trucks in 1940.
No matter what you do for a living, there are some interesting stories that you can share with your students, clients, or employees.
Create Discussion Panels Relevant To Your Organization Mission
February presents us with an opportunity to discuss issues that are important to the black family, racial justice, and the entire African Diaspora. However, it is important to select issues that are meaningful to the actual mission of your organization.
For example, a panel discussion about former U.S. President Barack Obama or the National Museum of African American History and Culture might sound like a great idea. But, if you run a health care center, it would probably be more interesting to invite some guest speakers to talk about the health challenges facing Black women. At the same time, companies working to increase a market share may love discussions about sales or promotions to African American customers.
By making the topic of discussion relevant to the actual work you do, you make the information important to the everyday lives of the audience.
Support Black Businesses
This idea can be both simple and fun. If your company has regular lunch meetings that are catered, why not look around for an African American caterer or restaurant to support? Searching for gifts for upcoming birthdays? Why not shop online from a few Black-owned retail stores? Order from a variety of local Black businesses and create gift bags for your employees or clients.
No matter what you need, you are likely to find an entrepreneur that can provide you with a unique experience and interesting product or service. At the same time, you can also support small businesses, which is great for our economy. February is a wonderful month to get outside your comfort zone and shop somewhere new!
Visit or Donate Funds To Local Black Institutions
Let’s face it, most of us are already busy and a little stressed out. If you want to honor Black History Month but don’t have the time to organize an event, why not schedule a group visit to a museum or art exhibit around Black artists and culture? Many institutions in your community have already planned special occasions. Feel free to research and attend a few of these rather than doing something unique.
These institutions also need money to honor the month, so they could also use your donations. Nonprofits and volunteer groups throughout the country are working hard to realize the dream of freedom and equality for all. February is a good time to honor that dedication with a donation.
Fun and Games Including Classroom Black History Ideas
Here are a few ways to enjoy celebrating Black History Month with kids or the young at heart!
- Create a Black History Month trivia event and hand out prizes from Black-Owned businesses
- Research Black History Month facts
- Complete a timeline of important Black history events
- Recreate famous works of art by Black artists
- School display for highlighting Black leaders
No matter what you decide to do for Black History Month, Cardboard Cutout Standees is your source for decorations like wall decals and standing cardboard images. Contact us today for a free estimate!