It’s the last day of Black History Month, but that doesn’t mean the learning has to end until Black History Month 2019. There are many small ways to make black history part of your daily life and keep educating yourself because black history isn’t just black history, it’s the world’s history.
Here are five small, but impactful, ways to celebrate black history throughout the year.
While figures of black history won’t be in the forefront of the news, you can keep learning by reading books. Read books about society and the systems and institutions that were set up to keep black people—and people of color—marginalized.
Read biographies on lesser-known black people who affected the United States and the world in great ways. Read fiction books written by black writers. Read memoirs written by black writers. Read to have an understanding and don’t be afraid to read other books and do research inspired by the books you’ve read.
Support black businesses and creators.
“Support small businesses” is a common rallying call in our country. This year, consider shopping from black-owned businesses where you can and recommending them to your friends and family. Many experts believe that more—successful—black-owned small businesses will be one of the keys to closing the racial wealth gap. (There are systemic issues at play to explain the disparity of black business owners, which are important to recognize.)
In the same vein, look for black creatives and creators and support their work. Whether that looks like paying black writers to write—not just about race, buying art from black artists, watching films and TV shows by black screenwriters and directors, and listening to music from black musicians.
Add black people to your networks.
One of the downfalls of networking, aside from how much introverts hate it, is the way it unintentionally excludes people of color. If you don’t know any people of color, then you can’t recommend them for a job or introduce them to a hiring manager, which means the company will probably maintain a low number of people of color as employees.
When you’re networking or looking for young people to mentor, be intentional about looking for people of color you can connect to opportunities and other people who can help them succeed.
Consider volunteering with or donating to nonprofit organizations that serve marginalized communities. Get plugged in and genuinely attempt to become part of that community in a way that will transform you and the people you’re helping.
Learn more history.
Many cities across the United States and the world have museums focused on the history and contributions of black people. Going to a museum is generally a cheap way to spend your day and you’ll come away with information you didn’t know before entering and you’ll be able to experience it and learn with an added visual component, which can even make old information feel new.