Black History Month is a time of representation and recognition of the great contributions and sacrifices of African Americans who have shaped—and continue to shape—our nation. It’s not only important to honor their past struggles and triumphs, but also to celebrate current advancements, accomplishments and the great minds and leaders paving the way today.
In addition to your own observance of Black history and its rich culture and heritage, here are eight supplemental products and causes to partake in this February and beyond.
“Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History”
Journey along this compilation of 40 trailblazing Black women throughout American history. From the unimaginable bravery of Harriet Tubman to the remarkable talent of the Williams sisters, each portrait depicts an important story and offers the opportunity to start important conversations with your children. To continue moving forward, we believe the future generations have to understand where we’ve come from to help be the bridge to where we are going.
“Black Cake: A Novel”
Reading isn’t just for bedtime with your kiddos. There are a host of debut Black authors to support this year, and Charmaine Wilkerson is a great starting point. Her early release titled “Black Cake” follows two estranged siblings that come together to deal with their mother’s death and her hidden secrets and betrayals from the past. It’s steeped in Caribbean tradition, filled with wisdom, and a reminder of how much of a family’s journey can be shaped by the choices of its matriarch.
Shoe-enthusiast Jazmin Veney brought her passion project turned curated brand to fruition from her Harlem apartment in 2018. Striving to create products that push the style agenda and get people talking, she proudly designs for women who, like herself, “take up space” while prioritizing quality, form and budget. These blush mules are sure to be a showstopper at your next dinner date—or maybe even a playdate!
The Fourth Phase
Keeping in step with this year’s theme: Black Health & Wellness, The Fourth Phase highlights the importance of continuing to care for the mother after birth through beautifully packaged postpartum recovery boxes filled with nontoxic and sustainably sourced products. With every purchase made, The Fourth Phase donates similar afterbirth care items to new mothers experiencing homelessness in the US as well as women in Sub-Saharan Africa through its charitable partners.
Black Girls Code
Like many industries, the world of tech lacks diversity, especially when it comes to gender. Black Girls Code is seeking to train one million girls by 2040 to lead in the areas of math, science, engineering and technology. Their classes and workshops provide underrepresented children with the tools and skills to not only code, but create through innovation and enjoy learning through curiosity. The organization has garnered support from a host of celebrities and recently partnered with Nike to host a virtual “hackathon” event that explored the intersection of sports and activism. You can get involved by donating, becoming a volunteer or shopping their apparel line to support the movement.
100 Black Men of America
Leadership is a life-changing resource for youth facing challenges. The network of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. recognizes that a child’s environment and the people he surrounds himself with create heavy influence in his life. Committing to “personify the type of person our children will look up to and emulate,” the organization is made up of 10,000 influential members (including educators, corporate executives, physicians, attorneys, entrepreneurs and more) that focus on mentorship, education and the health and wellness of the communities they serve. There are various chapters in cities across the US; get involved in your local city or commit to financially supporting their mission.
Art + Practice
This organization located in historic Leimert Park Village of south Los Angeles supports LA transition-age foster youth (ages 18 to 24) through collaborations with nonprofit social service providers. Art + Practice provides free access to museum-curated contemporary art that celebrates artists of color, organizes public panels, film screenings, lectures and workshops, and also offers housing opportunities and case management services to foster youth. You can check out current exhibits on their website or make a donation; Bonus: donations of $50 or more come with a complimentary A+P hat!