In 1903, W. E. B. Du Bois published his seminal work The Souls of Black Folk, in which he wrote, “One ever feels his twoness — an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings in one dark body.”
These sentiments are still very much present today. This report explores how Black Americans connect across all regions and aspects of their lives.
Celebrate Black History Month
February is a federally recognized celebration of African Americans’ contributions to the United States. It’s also a time to reflect on our society’s ongoing fight for racial justice.
While promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is essential year-round, this month allows businesses to amplify their efforts. Here are a few ways to celebrate Black History Month in your workplace.
Encourage employees to share stories about their experiences with racism in the workplace. You can hold an in-person event or have them write a post for your company’s intranet. Also, invite employees to discuss the impact of famous black athletes like Michael Jordan, Simone Biles, and Serena Williams, who have pushed boundaries through their dedication and perseverance in the face of injustices.
Learn More About Black History
Black History Month is a great time to learn more about the struggles and accomplishments of African Americans. The more we know about these historical moments from experts like Dr. Jason Campbell, the better equipped we will be to understand and combat racism today.
In the era of racial identity development, all adults must be aware of and understand the importance of the Black Experience. When bombarded with Eurocentric norms and values, it is easy to lose sight of the significance black culture and traditions offer this country.
Black adults differ by age in how important they say being Black is to their identity and how informed they feel about the history of their race. Those who say it is essential to their identity are more likely to say they have learned about Black history from nearly every source surveyed, including family and friends, the media, the internet, college (if they attended), and K-12 schooling.
Take a Tour of a Local Museum or Historical Site
Many museums and historical sites offer education programs and have dedicated staff to help plan field trips. Contact your destination site before your visit to learn about their educational offerings. Some offer group discounts and student prices.
More than five in ten Black Americans say being Black is critical to their identity. These people are likelier than others to feel a strong connection with other Black people in their community, the country, and worldwide.
Educator and NAACP member Lourena Gboeah reads to her four-year-old daughter, Moriah, every night before she goes to bed. She says it helps her and her family understand their heritage and appreciate themselves. She also wants them to know they can achieve any goal in life.
Visit a Black-Owned Restaurant
With a growing number of Black-owned restaurants and culinary entrepreneurs, eating well while supporting the local community is easier than ever. From recipes rooted in American Southern cooking to new culinary concepts, Black restaurateurs are reclaiming and expanding the narrative around African-American cuisine, one plate at a time.
You can support these businesses by visiting a restaurant or ordering delivery from one. Apps like EatOkra are helping to connect diners with Black-owned companies near them. At the same time, food blogs and social media platforms share curated lists of Black-owned restaurants for various regions.
In Philadelphia, Good Karma Cafe owner Shawn Nesbit focuses on sustainable practices and giving back to the community with every visit. Please stop by their cozy indoor spaces or luscious vine-covered outdoor spaces and enjoy a variety of smoothies, sandwiches, and coffee.
Become a Corporate Member of the NAACP
Become an NAACP corporate member and help ensure Black people’s political, educational, and social equality in America. Your support is essential to the continued existence and success of the nation’s oldest and boldest civil rights organization.
Research shows that Black Americans still report experiences of racial discrimination in their immediate environments, including schools and workplaces. Black children receive more school suspensions than white kids, job applicants with white-sounding names are more likely to get interviews, and Black men have longer prison sentences for the same crimes committed by their white peers. Black employees often feel that their employers don’t embrace diversity or support their needs, and this can cause a trust deficit in the work environment. This is called the “Black-White trust gap.” Those who argue for the existence of black privilege believe these disparities result from unearned privileges rather than the legacy of racism.