Every year, the Association for the Study of American Life and History (ASALH), an organization that studies and promotes awareness to Black American history, highlights a theme for Black History Month. This theme helps bring attention to the important contributions of Black lives on our collective history alongside the importance of celebrating and honoring those lives and how every Black American has helped shape history – both on a local and national level. The theme for 2021 is “The Black Family,” which is to encompass Black representation, identity, and diversity. “No single word is more illustrative of our humanity—of who we are—than the word “family.” It stands at the heart of human relationships, representing the essence of ties that bind people together by blood, by race, by social affinity, by national heritage, and by religious conviction.” (https://asalh.org/asalh-announces-2021-black-history-theme/)
There are a variety of ways you can also honor Black lives and their contributions to the ever-changing landscape of American life. Here are a few you can do right now, from home:
- Check out any of these books chosen specifically for 2021’s Black History Month.
- Listen to Black American’s stories through this podcast
- Take a trip through the National Archives and expl9re topics you may not have considered.
- Virtually visit the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.
- Connect to Black American cases in the Supreme Court and learn about cases that led to legislation securing Black rights.
- Attend the Chicago Children’s Choir’s Black History Month virtual concert on February 25th and steep yourself in the soul and voice of the movement.
- Head over to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and browse their collection of archives by topic, date, or even place!
We also recommend checking out events in your area. With so many events going virtual this year, there is no shortage of ways to celebrate Black History Month, both now and in the future.
Here at VANTAGE Aging, we celebrate and honor the Black family every day, through our work with our community partnerships that help us continue to promote diversity and inclusion, and also in our anti-discrimination policies which remove barriers and open doors to those we serve. VANTAGE Aging prides itself on a diverse workforce, board of directors, and service community, but we understand there will always be more we can all do, both for Black History Month and beyond, in order to continue to honor and celebrate Black lives and extend our services to reach more Black individuals and families in need through our wraparound menu of services – Meals on Wheels of Northeast Ohio (MOWNEO), Home Wellness Solutions, RSVP Senior Volunteer program, and SCSEP employment services. In many ways, every month is Black History Month, as every day gives all of us a chance to reflect upon and appreciate the endless contributions and sacrifices made by Black Americans, both past and present, and look to the future, where one day the dreams of their ancestors become their abundant, equal reality.