This month, we honor those who have shaped Black History, particularly some trailblazing women. The women who have become well-known, and also created a platform for many more African American women to follow in their footsteps.
Hail the Queens
Just to name a few, one of the first fine artists, Augusta Savage, attended New York City's Cooper Union and was commissioned to sculpt civil rights leader W.E.B. Du Bois and more. Dorothy Height, also known as the godmother of the women's movement, shaped change for gender equality. Rosa Parks married into activism, and played a pivotal role in the Alabama civil rights movement. In the face of gender and race bias, they broke barriers, and their efforts continue to impact society.
The Theme of 2021
Each year, the American president designates a specific theme tied to Black History Month. And for 2021, the theme is “Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity.” This theme urges us to explore the African diaspora, better known as the spread of Black families across the United States.
Where to Explore
With this theme and the current pandemic-driven climate in mind, a great way to learn about Black History is in a digital sense. We’re going to educate ourselves and our families online. Some of our favorite exhibits include: the Civil Rights Movement Exhibit, hosted by the High Museum of Art, which pairs captivating imagery with historical moments, The Hewitt Collection of African-American Art, perfect for a creative perspective on the African-American experience, and supporting Black-owned businesses in our local areas.
How to Celebrate
Whether you need to order online or pay a safe visit to a local shop, Black History Month is a time to hone in on what you’re doing to support the community around you. For instance, between February and April 2020, it’s estimated that 40% of Black business owners closed their doors. Let’s show support to those who have been a victim of inequity however we can. And we urge you to take that same mindset and apply it during Black History Month and beyond.
How will you celebrate Black History Month? Let us know in a comment below or on social media, @Shapermint!