Honoring Black History Month in 2021

By: Editorial Staff Posted: 02/01/2021

Check out our list for ideas about where to shop, what to read, events to attend, and more

February's Black History Month was first started by Carter G. Woodson, a founder of the Association for the Study of African American History. This year's theme is “Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity.” You can learn more about the history of Black History Month and the theme here.

Looking for suggestions on how you can honor Black History Month this year? Read on!

Support Black-owned businesses

• Search for local Black-owned businesses on Intentionalist, the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle's Black Business Directory, and Seattle Green Book

• Support local Black-owned businesses with Savor Seattle's Solidarity Box 3.0 which features Chamber members JuneBaby and Boon Boona Coffee, as well as many other local favorites

• Support Soul of Seattle 2021, a virtual fundraiser for local Black-owned restaurants and local nonprofit Mentoring Urban Students & Teens (MUST), who empower youth of color in Seattle.

• Search for Black-owned businesses on a national level with the Support Black Owned and Black Owned Business Network directories and shop for books from 125 Black-owned bookstores across America

• There are also apps which can help you find Black-owned businesses: Official Black Wall Street and Buy Black App 

Attend Black History Month virtual events

Second Annual Black-Owned Business Excellence, a series of events designed to inspire, educate, celebrate, and normalize excellence in Black-Owned Businesses in the state of Washington. (Scroll down on the site for information about the different individual sessions and to register.)

Kick off Black History Month with Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture virtual events including book talks, kid programs, artist meetups and more.

Support Black-owned media in our region

The Seattle Medium 

South Seattle Emerald

Learn about Black history in our country and region

• Visit Chamber member Northwest African American Museum (Although their building is temporarily closed, their programs continue! Visit their events page to see how to engage with NAAM during their physical closure.)

• Learn about African American heritage in Washington

• Use the self-guided prompts from Rachel Cargle's Discover Our Glory worksheet to learn more about American Black History. 

Support Black nonprofits
• Local organizations include:

Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle

Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute

Sundiata African American Cultural Association

Black Heritage Society of Washington State

Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas

Horn of Africa Services 

• National organizations include:

Black Girls Code

Black Lives Matter

Seattle King County National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

Trans Women of Color Collective

Celebrate Black literature and media

• Books for adults:

44 of the Best Books by Black Authors You Should Read in Your Lifetime

2021 Black History Month Books

15 inspiring books to read in honor of Black History Month

27 Books to Read in Honor of Black History Month

• Books for kids:

8 Stellar Picture Books for Black History Month

21 African-American History Books to Read with Your Kids

28 great Black History Month books for kids

100 Best Children’s Books for African American History Month

• Movies:

10 Must Watch Black History Documentaries

28 Days, 28 Films for Black History Month

Get to know local Black leaders on our podcast, Under Construction

• Adriane Brown: “If you can’t work through people, you can’t get your job done”

• Solynn McCurdy: "When you have power, you have the ability to change the rules"

• Former Seattle Mayor Norman Rice: “I think people were waiting for a voice that wasn’t being heard”

• Shaunta Hyde: “Finding little ways every single day to give back should be part of your core ethos”

• Amelia Ransom: “Know where you stand. Know where you are.”

• “If an economy is going to work, it has to work for everyone”: Under Construction series finale, with Jenna Hanchard interviewing Marilyn Strickland