8 Ways To Honor Black History Month


Grace Gewirtz

Black History month has become an annual celebration in American culture ever since president Gerald Ford recognized the month of February as a time to observe the achievements and history of African Americans. To acknowledge the contributions of African Americans, we designate twenty-eight days of the year to reflect and appreciate “the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” While the education system has reformed the curriculum to integrate African American history, there is still a lot of progress to be made. Below I have listed eight non-traditional ways to celebrate black history month in forms other than simply brushing up on your knowledge of the civil war!


  • Read poetry written by African American authors.

As early as the 1700s, African American poets have used this art form to share their voice, even during times when speaking up had severe consequences. Today we can rediscover the emotions of the past and observe viewpoints of the future through the prose of African American poets. Poetry Foundation has compiled a collection of some of the best African American poems, perfect for black history month!

  • Plug your AirPods in and listen to music composed by black artists.

Music is a universal language for all to enjoy leisurely, but can also be used to advocate for those who would not have a voice otherwise. Artists such as Nina Simone, Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, and Tina Turner are exceptional examples of influential African American artists in the 20th century. Current artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Joey BadA$$, Nicki Minaj, and Alicia Keys continue to use their voices to speak on behalf of the underprivileged.

  • Donate to black charities 

There is no shortage of charities advocating for change at both local, state, and national levels in America. Charities such as Black Lives Matter, Unicorn Riot, Campaign Zero, Black United Fund, and National Black Child Development Institute are good places to start if you are looking to make a difference during Black History Month.

  • Follow some recipes online and cook authentic soul food dishes!

Black History Month provides the perfect opportunity to appreciate black culture and what better way to do so than to whip up some authentic dishes in the kitchen! Check out 28 Authentic Soul Food Recipes by Insanely Good Recipes to immerse yourself in the delicacies of an unfamiliar culture.


  • Read (or watch) ‘The Hate you Give’

Angie Thomas’ The Hate You Give explores a variety of complex topics such as racism, police brutality, and discrimination in an extraordinarily put-together media. Available as both a novel and now also as a movie, Thomas’ piece encompasses the epitome of black history month and is definitely worth the read, especially during February!


  • Support black-owned businesses

From coffee shops to clothing boutiques, supporting black-owned businesses is one of the most efficient forms of overcoming systemic racism available to the average person. Next time you seek any form of service, check out the Asbury Park Press’ Black-Owned Businesses in Monmouth County list.


  • Listen or watch Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope Speech

Barack Obama is the first African American president and has exerted influence to help the underprivileged during his presidency and after his two terms. Be sure to listen (or read) Obama’s Audacity of Hope Speech as it highlights his spiritual and political beliefs and outlines his view on some sensitive subjects as it pertains to American culture.

  • Visit African American historic sites near you

Nothing is more fascinating than observing first-hand historical sites that demonstrate the extensive culture of African Americans throughout American history! Some examples here in New Jersey include the Hinchliffe Stadium, the Krueger-Scott Mansion, the African Art Museum of the SMA Fathers, and the Afro-American Historical Society Museum.