As the voice and creator behind San Diego Black History Moments, I tell inspirational stories of past and present-day legacies. I have celebrated Black History Month by producing a series of minute-long radio productions. Educational stories that highlight the lives and contributions of Black San Diegans. This year, I’m delighted to share 5 more ways to honor Black History Month in San Diego:
1. Create Black History
Of the countless ways to honor Black history, creating a tribute from the heart is probably the most meaningful. Consider creating your own artwork or writing to express your thoughts and feelings about Black history. Alternatively, you can get the whole tribe together for family pictures, from your eldest relatives to your newest arrivals. Make it a family reunion! Another option is to get started on your family tree! This project gets backburnered in our busy lives. But its significance, especially for black families deserves to be prioritized. Try genealogical research on a site like Ancestry.com. Or in San Diego, historian and genealogist Yvette Porter Moore can provide personalized help and document look-up services for difficult and complex case histories. Here’s a peek at the sage advice she gives.
2. Visit Local Black History Sites
We all know about the big national Black history memorials or museums, and I’ve included them below. But in San Diego, there are many local places to learn and celebrate. The Worldbeat Center isn’t new, but this year-round cultural hub always has something new, particularly during Black History Month. You can’t go wrong with Chuck Amber’s African Museum in Old Town. The little-known museum houses Black History from several continents. Or take a scenic ride up Palomar Mountain to visit Nate Harrison’s Grade. See the SDSU archaeological site of San Diego’s first known Black pioneer. Of course, if you want to just chill and reflect, attend a poetry slam hosted by a Black poet.
Outside of San Diego, visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., or the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. You can also visit historic sites such as the former home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Atlanta, GA, or the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park in Maryland.
3. Civic Involvement
Black History Month is an excellent time for civic engagement. Get involved in your community, learn how it works, and how to influence what happens in your neighborhoods. While the San Diego Public Library has a host of Black History Month arts and educational events, such as contests, panel discussions, and a film screening. You can make a difference by serving on a county board, committee, or commission! The Leon Williams Human Relations Commission has several current and upcoming vacancies. Check them out in the provided link, if you’re interested in participating in good governance, this is a great way to honor Black History Month.
By the way, Leon Williams was the first Black San Diego Councilman, he is featured in one of my Black History Moments. You can learn more about black history and the origins of this project in my portfolio.
4. Shop at Black-Owned Businesses
When you support Black businesses you inevitably support Black history and Black futures. Fortunately, Black folks in San Diego are an industrious bunch and always have been if you know your history. Look for Black-owned brick-and-mortar stores close to home. In San Diego, Black businesses are spread out all over the county. I’m aware of two major hubs – Black San Diego, a Facebook-connected group of 40,000 plus Black business owners and buy black enthusiasts. And Young Black and in Business (YBNB), a black business networking collective that hosts events and publishes a magazine. So too, the San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce is another great resource for shopping Black. Moreover, higher-profile companies such as Sip Wine & Beer, Maya’s Cookies, and Roswell Biotechnologies are great choices. Notwithstanding the really good Black real estate agents, haircare experts, and shameless moi, As I. Say Media brand storyteller to connect with. No matter where you reside, you can also consider purchasing products from Black-owned businesses on social media, such as Etsy or Instagram.
5. Study a Period of Black History
Take the time to learn about a specific period of Black history that you have been curious about. This could be reconstruction after the Civil War, Black women’s history, or Black people’s presence in the Americas prior to Columbus. On the other hand, if books aren’t your thing, you can find well-researched young Black video essayists on YouTube unpacking history related to their modern experience. Just addictively thought-provoking!
- FD Signifier – a former K-12 educator takes deep dives into black male socialization. Shining a light on perspectives rarely spoken of in the mainstream.
- Juoelzy – an advocate for the #smartblackgirl discusses cultural topics that impact women of color.
- Frank Laundry – is an expository upstart filmmaker with a quirky style who covers a mix of culturally relevant topics. His video/movie “The USA Will Never Build Walkable Cities” is must see.
Learning about Black history can help you better understand the world and the experiences of Black Americans. It can also give you a deeper appreciation for the diversity of perspectives and experiences of people in our communities.
These are just a few of the many ways you can honor Black History Month. I hope you found them helpful. By taking the time to celebrate and acknowledge Black history, we can help shape a better future for all. So, get involved and show your support for Black history and its culture this February!
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