This blog is sponsored by the Social Justice and Inclusion Council at Nebraska Methodist College. The council was formed in 2017 with the purpose of fostering a socially just and inclusive NMC community and establish full and equal participation of all groups in a society mutually shaped to meet their needs. Over the past several years, the council has facilitated many programs, including implicit bias training, hosting guest speakers and conducting surveys in order to work towards our goal.
February 2021 marks the 95th anniversary of Black History Month, an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans. To bring awareness to this designated month, the Council created a list of 5 ways to celebrate Black History Month.
Learn more about the origins of Black History Month. Black History Month started as Negro History Week in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson. Woodson was a prominent African-American Harvard-trained historian who was the son of former slaves. His impetus for celebrating Black history was realizing African-American contributions were overlooked, ignored and even suppressed by the writers of history textbooks and teachers. Still today, it's important for our country to celebrate Black History Month in order to remember and recognize the contributions of African-Americans around the world.
Amanda Gorman was the Inaugural Poet at the Inauguration in January 2021. Her poem inspired many and was one of the highlights of the ceremony. Read some of her works or many other amazing Black writers. Here is a great list to get you started.
Whether you have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max or Disney+, there are excellent films out there to watch this month in honor of Black History Month. If you're looking for a family film to watch with your children, consider Soul on Disney+. If you're looking to learn more about Fred Hampton and the Black Panther Party, check out Judas and the Black Messiah. Here's a list of more great films.
Another way to celebrate Black History Month is to support Black-owned businesses in the community. If you live in Omaha, there are many great businesses to check out. Need some popcorn to pair with one of the movies listed above? Grab some popcorn from Huskerland Popcorn. Here's a list of more local Black-owned businesses.
Give your time, talents or money to an organization that supports the Black community. ShareOmaha.org is a great resource to discover volunteer and philanthropic opportunities. Here's a list of Black-led or Black-benefitting organizations. No matter what you do this month, we encourage you to be intentional about recognizing and supporting the achievements of the Black community. Although Black History Month is recognized one month during the year, we believe these actions should be taken year-round with equal vigor.