How You Can Do a Better Job at Celebrating Black History Month


Kendall Johnson, Section Editor

In 1926, Carter G. Wilson set out to create African American History Month, the event that grew out of “Negro History Week” and in 1986, Congress passed Public Law 99-244, which designated February as “National Black (Afro-American) History Month.”  To this day, 37 years later, we still celebrate it. But what can we actually do to celebrate African Americans this month? 

  Millbrook has its very own excellent examples of how this month can be celebrated. The Black Student Union (BSU), along with their spirit week filled with different themes of African American pride, are creating a presentation available to all grades and classes on Friday, February 17, that will recognize the accomplishments and achievements of African Americans. La’Nita Hester, former president of the BSU says, “this event is more than a celebration but a moment of truth in which students are able to be their most vulnerable selves through different creative outlets. This showcase will shed light and educate students and faculty on the upbringing of African American culture through many forms of art; poetry, historical dance/step, and short skits.” The BSU wants this event to be where African American students can showcase their artistry and educate the Millbrook community on the life and achievement of African Americans, both past and present. So try to make it a goal to do simple things like attending or participating in presentations at school or participating in spirit week. 

  Although celebrating African American figures who were inventors, leaders, trailblazers, etc., is an essential part of celebrating Black History Month, we don’t have to just focus on the past, it’s important to make a change today. By volunteering in Black communities you can help make an impact on kids who will be our future leaders. A couple places in the Triangle area include: Garner Community Center, Boys & Girls Clubs of Durham and Orange Counties, and First Fruits Farm. These places are just a few organizations that help African American in the Triangle area and are constantly in need of volunteers. Just giving a few hours of your time to help clean up a community center, tutor after school, or assist in farming are major ways you can make a difference. 

  We know most of us love a good Sunday breakfast at our local First Watch or Briggs but have you ever tried Creama located at 421 Fayetteville St. which offers gourmet coffee and ice cream, homemade soups, freshly made salads, and sandwiches? Maybe instead of getting that necklace off of Amazon, you try out the store Pareure which sells custom jewelry. Supporting Black-owned businesses is another simple but effective way to celebrate Black History Month. Cat Talk recognizes that for many of us it is difficult to step out of our comfort zone and branch out to different places, but the owners will certainly be very appreciative and it’s a great way to experience something new. This website offers a list of many more Black-owned business options located in downtown Raleigh.    

  Black History Month should be more than posting short infographics about influential African American people– it should be celebrating everyone, past and present. Black people are constantly making history whether they might be a first generation college student, or the first to start a business in their family, or just creating a path of their own. Senior Tyler Vereen says, “We should celebrate black history not just this month, but all year.” As you go throughout the rest of this month, and the rest of your life, Cat Talk hopes you take time to do these recommendations and truly celebrate the black excellence all around us.