Celebrating Black History Month
Black History Month is an opportunity for us to learn about the rich heritage and culture of the Black community and reflect on the ongoing struggle for equality and justice. This year’s theme, set by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), is “African Americans and the Arts”. This topic explores the many forms of art that has been used as a cultural expression over the decades to preserve Black history as well as empower their community. As we celebrate Black History Month, let us also take time to educate ourselves and others about the ongoing impact of racism and discrimination, and commit to taking action to promote equity and inclusion in our workplace and community. Below are a few tools to help you learn from this meaningful history and how you can be an advocate and ally in the present.
Join AAAWM’s Media Club in reading Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit by Mary-Frances Winters
The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan has a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Media Club for our staff. The DEI Media Club consumes and discusses different types of media each month related to a specific DEI topic. This month, we are reading Black Fatigue by Mary-Frances Winters which explores the intergenerational impact of systemic racism on physical and mental health of black individuals and how society should combat its negative effects. This can be found at bookstores, on audiobook platforms, and in some libraries near you.
Join the National Museum of African American History and Culture in celebrating this year’s theme: African Americans and the Arts
Explore the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s (NMAAHC) online exhibits for Black History Month. Their 2024 Black History Month highlights "the ‘art of resistance’ and the artists who used their craft to uplift the race, speak truth to power, and inspire a nation.”
Support Black-Owned Businesses
Supporting Black-owned businesses is important because it helps to promote economic empowerment, representation, and visibility in the marketplace, community development, and cultural preservation. If you are unsure about which businesses around you are Black-owned, your local Chamber of Commerce likely has an idea. We recommend reaching out to them or doing some research of your own. We would love to hear how you are diversifying your spending or what Black-owned businesses you already frequent in your community.