Feb. 1 marks the first day of Black History Month and with a storied past comes unending information about how the month came to be and how future generations can learn about and continue to contribute to Black excellence in America.
While the pandemic has brought events across the country to a halt for two years in a row now, here are some ways to still take part in the month-long celebration.
Black History Month virtual lessons
The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) will offer a virtual Black History Month Festival for the entire month of February, according to the ASALH website.
A lineup of events will include seminars and book talks that outline topics such as Black figures in medicine and sports, and a conversation highlighting this year’s Black History Month theme: "Black Health and Wellness."
General admission for the virtual festival starts at $65, $125 to attend additional select events and $150 for full access to all festival events, according to ASALH.
The Smithsonian is also offering virtual educational events for free throughout the month of February, which includes history lessons and book discussions, according to the museum website.
FILE - View of a display at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), Washington DC, Sept. 28, 2016.
Support Black-owned businesses
Supporting local Black-owned businesses is always a great way to celebrate Black history all year long, especially during the month of February.
The NAACP has a list of recipients of grants awarded to Black-owned businesses in partnership with BeyGOOD.
The NAACP and BeyGOOD initiative seeks "to expand economic opportunity by awarding grants of $10,000 throughout 2020, with a goal to provide a lifeline for small businesses at the epicenter of dual pandemics. These Black-owned businesses are based in five cities: Minneapolis, New York, Atlanta, Chicago, and Houston. Check out the recipients of the first round of the Beygood Black-owned Small Business Impact Fund," according to the NAACP’s website.
For a full list of recipients, click here.
Consider donating to support education at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) or to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), which fights for racial justice in America.
"Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans. LDF also defends the gains and protections won over the past 80 years of civil rights struggle and works to improve the quality and diversity of judicial and executive appointments," according to the LDF website.
Watch free Black cinema on Tubi
Tubi is a free streaming service that offers a curated selection of Black excellence in cinema.
In honor of Black History Month, sit down with the family and watch a few flicks featuring one of the countless Black stories, voices or triumphs throughout America’s history.
Tubi and this television station are both owned by the FOX Corporation.