How to honor Black History Month week by week


Jenny Loveland

With origins as far back as the 1920s, Black History Month provides a time to celebrate and honor Black culture. For non-POC (people of color), this time can also serve as an opportunity for them to educate themselves and make space for the perspectives and experiences of POC.

Lainey Devlin, Copy Editor

After the influx in long overdue Black Lives Matter protests this past summer, this Black History Month holds a new, deeper significance. This year’s theme, The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity, encourages POC (people of color) to celebrate their culture within their day-to-day lives and families. But for non-POC, this month serves as a way to support and honor the Black community in new ways. Weekly dedication to celebrating and supporting the Black community throughout the month of February allows for growth and expansive education before March 1st. 

Educate yourself

With endless resources, education comes in many forms. Whether you learn from reading Malcom X’s autobiography or listening to a new TedTalk, any education provides new insight. With the North Cobb Regional Library right across the street, checking out books such as Sister Outsider, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, and How We Fight for Our Lives poses as a great educational resource. Easily shared with friends and family, TedTalks and educational podcasts provide an easy way to learn while making your daily commute to school or work and encourage those you share with to learn with you. Books, videos, and podcasts, while bursting with knowledge, do not compare to the experience of sitting down and engaging in a discussion with a Black person about Black issues. Throughout these conversations, we need to remember education is not Black people’s obligation. 

Stop avoiding hard discussions

A crucial part of active anti-racism, hard discussions feel uncomfortable, and they should. Putting off addressing casual racism with a family member or friend excuses their behavior. Even though it feels scary, hard discussions need to happen to lessen racial discrimination and bigotry in our everyday world. Ignoring hard topics will not make them go away. Approach your conversation partner respectfully and explain your motivation behind talking to them: “Hey, can we talk about a few concerning comments you made recently?” Talk to them from the perspective of wanting to see them grow and recognize the issues with their behavior. The impact of hard conversations last and avoiding them allows racism to continue to foster within our communities. However, some people refuse to change. When a loved one denies or laughs off their racist tendencies, you need to continue trying to educate them, oftentimes hard conversations do not happen just once. 

Support a Black-owned business

While you may not possess the financial means to support a business, a follow, like, or share on a social media platform gives black-owned businesses another outlet for exposure. Not as Famous cookie company, located in Smyrna, GA, creates delicious baked goods as well as milkshakes and ice cream. With constantly changing flavors ranging from red velvet to Reece’s chip, Not as Famous provides a cure to anyone’s sweet tooth. 

Also in the Atlanta area, 3 Corners Metaphysical Shop sells crystals, incense, and jewelry for all of your spiritual needs. The Black-owned business also provides Tarot readings, Chakra analysis, and much more. A variety of Black-owned Etsy shops in the Atlanta area sell items from jewelry to candles and put out high quality goods that you cannot find anywhere else. Black-owned businesses often suffer substantially more due to racism whether intentional or not, making a conscious effort to choose a Black-owned business supports the community and allows the business to grow. 

Research Black history in your area

While slaves did not make up a large part of the population in the Kennesaw area due to a lack of large plantations in the civil war era, racism still surrounded everyday life. Monomia and James Johnson, two historical figures and freed slaves who ran businesses in the Kennesaw area, endured racism at the hands of not only fellow community members, but government figures as well. After her husband James fled to Nashville, Monomia cared for four small children by herself. One night Southern soldiers burglarized and burned her home to the ground looking for supplies. When she filed a claim to the US government for thousands of dollars in damages, it was denied and she received a check for a measly $246, years later. By researching topics like Monomia and James Johnson, we see the longevity of racism within our own communities. 

Today, Wildman’s serves as an example of how Kennesaw still needs to grow and the longevity of racism in the area. Described as a memorabilia store, Wildman’s proudly displays confederate flags, an early Ku Klux Klan uniform, and Nazi relics. Continuously surrounded by protestors during the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020, Wildman’s store continues to symbolize white supremacy in the heart of downtown Kennesaw. 

“Black History Month is a great way for Black people to showcase the great things [we] have done in this world,” Magnet junior Lawrence Kimani said.