Many people might think that Black History Month is observed to only recognize the significant contributions to our societies by African Americans in history, but it’s also important to take a moment to celebrate and honor the accomplishments within the Black community today.
In this article, we share five ways to celebrate, explore and support Black Americans who are an integral part of today’s world. Let’s begin by acknowledging numerous notable moments that signify breakthroughs for our nation in the past year. You’ll notice many of these celebratory moments may be personal achievements that together lead to bigger movement across the world.
Celebrate Notable Achievements in the Past Year
- Rosalind Brewer, Walgreens’ CEO, is the only Black woman currently leading a Fortune 500 company and just the third Black woman in history to serve as a Fortune 500 CEO.
- Jesse Collins became the first Black executive producer of the Super Bowl halftime show.
- Juneteenth was officially signed into law as a federal holiday on June 17, 2021, by President Joe Biden.
- Tishaura Jones became the first Black woman to be elected mayor of St. Louis.
- Terence Blanchard is the first Black composer to have his work performed at the Metropolitan Opera.
- Cori Bush became Missouri’s first Black Congresswoman.
- Tamyra Mensah-Stock became the first Black woman to win a gold medal in wrestling at the Olympics in Japan.
- Sydney Barber, at just 21, became the U.S. Naval Academy’s first Black female brigade commander.
- Raphael Warnock became Georgia’s first Black senator.
- Hollywood approved the movie concept of a Black Superman.
- View a list of additional notable achievements that we recognized in 2021.
Honor and Celebrate the Achievements of Your Peers
Here at thyssenkrupp Materials NA, we would like to also acknowledge the contributions of our own employees and the essential role they play in this organization. Stay tuned to the blog this month as we spotlight our employees Howard, Latasha, and Keith. Others we highlighted in 2021 are: Kim, Rob, Charles, Katrina, and Michael.
Visit an Online Exhibit
Thanks to technology, today we can explore and reflect on historical moments using a mobile phone, tablet, or computer. For example, the National Archives put together a great way to enlighten us about African American history through online exhibits. Additional content is readily available through search engines like Google. From The riots of 1968 and The Civil Rights Act of 1964, to recorded YouTube programs from current leaders, take some time to familiarize yourself with the victories and struggles in African American communities.
Support Black-Owned Small Businesses
Small businesses are the heart of our communities. They keep the economy running through employment opportunities and are often pioneers for innovation. During the month of February, take this opportunity to research Black-owned small businesses in your area. You may find many of them give back to the community and could benefit from your support as well. As you dig deeper in your research, you may discover other small businesses and causes you could support year-round and not just during Black History Month. Take on the challenge to encourage your community to do the same.
Volunteer at or Donate to Inclusive Organizations
In addition to educating and celebrating Black community achievements, we can also volunteer or provide financial support to local organizations for a great cause.
As we focus on health and wellness as the theme of Black History Month in 2022, we acknowledge that mental health continues to be a stigma in society today. With the barriers affecting health care access by people of diverse ethnic groups, it’s even more important to provide a solution and aid to close the gap. The Loveland Therapy Fund is one of many organizations that provide financial assistance to Black women and girls seeking therapy nationally. Donate to The Loveland Therapy Fund
Another impactful way to support the Black community is by providing the opportunity for advancement. African Americans have been historically at a huge disadvantage when it comes to higher education access. Consider supporting organizations that prepare African American students for fulfilling careers and guide them to take on leadership positions that service our nation. UNCF is an organization that promotes educational excellence for the Black community. It provides scholarships, emergency financial assistance and professional development programs to keep students on the right path to earning their higher education degree. Donate to UNCF
To continue your support for the civil rights movements today, The Leadership Conference Education Fund is a coalition of over 200 national organizations advocating to protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States, not just people of African descent. This organization empowers and assembles activists to become involved in the law and policy changes at the local, state, and federal levels. Donate to the Leadership Conference Education Fund