Five Ways You Can Honor Black History Month

While in the midst of the month of February, also known as Black History Month, it is important to use this time to educate oneself on African American culture. Read below for some suggestions on how to go about doing so in an impactful and immersive manner.


Woman displays poster reading, “I want to be heard”. Similar posters were used during the protests against gun violence in June of 2020.

Liv Zender, Web Editor in Chief

Dedicate time in your day to educate yourself. There is so much available knowledge at our fingertips. It is important to know the history and purpose behind Black History Month, and aknowledge how american history continues to impact African American people today. Even if its just a couple minutes, say 15 minutes. For the rest of Black History month, dedicate 15 minutes a day to research and educate yourself about the many eras of racism that people of color have endured and how each and every person can do their part to eliminate racism in America. Research can be done through the internet or libraries. While a couple minutes of research may be more realistic through a phone screen, checking out some books about American and/or African American history would be an additional way to educate yourself. 


An additional way to educate and learn more about african american culture would be to visit black-owned restaurants and buisnesses around Kansas City. Restaurants and coffee shops such as Ruby Jeans Juicery, Urban Cafe, Equal Minded Cafe, and Soulcentricitea, are all well reviewed and experiential options, each with a unique story and motivation behind the owners decision to found these restaurants. For more information about said restaurants, try reading class of 2021 alum Catherine Crayon’s article dedicated to trying and reviewing black-owned restaurants or visiting Notre Dame de Sion’s official instagram to learn more about the black owned buisnesses who visited the school.

Once you’ve been served a delicious meal or warm cup of coffee from one the above restaurants, try heading over to your local art museum. African American art, whethe rit be music, dance, painting, or many other mediums, is another way to learn more about African American culture in a personal way. There are many local art museums that include exhibits containing or dedicated to displaying African American art. If art museums aren’t your cup of tea, then I suggest exploring music artists outside your normal artists. Whether you are looking for more current music, such as rap or jazz, or would rather explore traditional folk music, there is a Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Itunes, etc, playlist for everything. 


Next, now that you’ve drank your coffee from a black-owned business and appreciated African American art, head home, hit the couch, and find a documentary or movie about African American culture or black history in America. Pick and era, a person, or a streaming app to focus on. A few award winning suggestions that could be found on a commonly used streaming service are Hidden Figures, The Hate You Give, Selma, and Just Mercy. Additionally, Hidden Figures, The Hate You Give, and Just Mercy are based off of well known and well received books.

Lastly, be open to honest and educational dialogue. Sounds simple enough, but its surprising how easy it can be to avoid conversations that could be seen as awkward. Awkward conversations are sometimes the most valuable, because awkwardness means vulnerability, which leads to education. And education is an extremely important part of making a real change. So open a conversation with your family, your friends, a classmate or teacher. You never know what type of change you may trigger just by opening up to the idea of education through dialogue. It’s important to participate, but its also important to listen to what others around you are saying. Learning about others experiences or perspectives can be a form of education without even opening a web browser or checking out a book from the library.