How to celebrate Black History Month at work
15th October 2021
Author, and historian Carter G. Woodson—now appropriately considered the “father of black history”—lobbied actively for the national recognition of black stories and perspectives. He believed that true equality was only really possible with the acknowledgment and understanding of a race’s history.
Today, in the UK, we celebrate Black History Month every October, and many companies engage with the celebrations in various ways. It is important to avoid tokenistic behaviours, and instead, it is a time to reflect and listen to black voices. Moreover, it’s a great time to celebrate the cultural achievements of black people.
Check out Marshall’s top ways that you can celebrate Black History Month in the workplace:
Organise a film club
Watching films produced by black directors, or that tell important black stories is a great way to engage and celebrate the culture. After, you can discuss what you enjoyed about the film, and what you learned from it. There are so many excellent films out there by black directors, check out some of our recommendations:
- Moonlight (2016)
- One Night in Miami (2020)
- Selma (2014)
- Babymother (1998)
- Rocks (2019)
- 13th (2016)
A scene from the the British film Rocks (2019)
Book a speaker
Hosting an educational webinar is a great way to recognise Black History Month. The activity gives employees the chance to learn more about an interesting topic, talk to an expert, and get face-to-face time with co-workers who you perhaps don’t see as often.
Firstly, find your speaker. You could put out an open call for speakers within the organisation, or hire a virtual keynote speaker. It is important to advertise the event to employees and send a calendar invite with a meeting link. This is a great opportunity for an open conversation about Black History Month and issues within the black community.
Plan a Social Media takeover
A great statement would be using your Social Media platforms to elevate black voices, or for storytelling. This is a time to celebrate Black History, so switching your content accordingly is beneficial and can really help engage your company with this month.
This is not an opportunity to sell your products or service, but rather an opportunity to listen and celebrate stories of Black History, and see what we can do moving forward. At Marshall’s, we have been lending our platform to talk about voices of Black History who are often forgotten about.
Keep an eye out for current initiatives
Black History Month is also about recognising the issues that people in the black community are facing today, and seeing how you can get involved in a positive way.
For instance, there is currently a petition for Valeries Law which can be found here. It wants to make specialist training mandatory for all police and other government agencies that support black women and girls affected by domestic abuse. The idea is that Police and agencies should have culturally appropriate training to better understand the cultural needs of black women affected by domestic abuse.
To find out more information about Black History Month 2021, check out the official website here