February is Black History Month, a time dedicated to honoring the many past and present contributions of Black Americans. There are countless ways in which we can stand with the Black Community in our day-to-day lives, including challenging stereotypes, addressing bias, and offering a helping hand. Outlined below are a few ways we can celebrate Black History on social media.
Support Black-owned Businesses
With the Coronavirus pandemic shuttering so many organizations across the world, small businesses are in need of our support, and Black-owned small businesses are in even more need than others. A recent study conducted from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York finds that Black-owned businesses have been hit substantially harder by the coronavirus pandemic than companies overall.
Black History Month is an excellent opportunity to highlight the Black-owned small businesses you know and love. The simplest way to show your support is with engagement. Give a business a shout-out on social media or leave them a kind review. Sharing positive feedback on social media increases the business’s engagement. But you don’t have to limit yourself to February, make this a habit to practice throughout the year.
Social media has become a powerful player in the movement as a tool both to educate and organize. A recent study revealed that roughly 4.6 billion people have access to the internet, and around 4.4 billion are active social media users.
Although digital communities have been calling attention to racist social attitudes in the past, this time, the conversation is more targeted and action-oriented. One way to raise awareness of the racial injustices that remain prevalent in our nation today is lending actionable support.
Use social media to share and consume resources, whether those are infographics or important informative links.
If you haven’t signed a petition yet, consider putting your name down in support of positive change. Invite others in your digital community to do the same.
If you are in a financial position to do so, make a donation to a reputable organization.
Black Lives Matter Movement
As the Black Lives Matter movement has gained increased momentum across the country, Black Lives Matter has become a prominent topic on social media platforms.
The Black Lives Matter movement relies heavily on social media to spread awareness about their goals and empowers Black communities.
An example of this can be seen with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center finds that the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter is used an average of about 17,000 times a day, highlighting the role of social media in modern American activism and protest.
How Diverse is Your Social Media Feed?
The best practice when it comes to any social media content is sharing real stories. Social media allows users to communicate with one another more freely, amplifying awareness about various experiences and elevating voices that are not usually heard.
Whether it’s on the news or your social feed, start following and listening to Black voices. Diversify your social feed and engage with a larger community. Expand your network to uplift the Black community.
Here’s a short list of some recommended follows:
Celebrate Black History All Year
Despite February marking the start of Black History Month, Black celebration should go beyond the month of February. You can do your part by researching and educating yourself on different issues that affect the Black Community.
These are just a few of the ways in which we can share pride in Black culture, love of the community, and joy in celebration of a history rich in ingenuity, strength, and resilience.
Freelance contribution especially written for Find Your Influence by Sophia Parsa.