16 Black History Month 2024 Celebration Ideas for Work

Ben Aflalo
Ben Aflalo

Head of Product at Gloww

Every February, the United States and Canada observe Black History Month. This annual event recognizes the injustices suffered by the African-American community but also celebrates their impressive achievements. If you’re keen to embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, there’s no excuse for putting Black History Month on the back burner. Struggling to come up with ways to celebrate Black History Month at work? We’ve got you covered. 

The Origin of Black History Month 

Black History Month dates back to 1915 with the creation of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). It was the ASALH that conceived the concept of Black History Week, with the first one held in February 1926.

By the 1970s, the event had grown into a month-long affair. In 1976, Black History Month received an official designation from the President of the United States. Every February since then has been designated as Black History Month, with each event receiving a unique theme.

black history month ideas

Why is Black History Month Celebrated in February? 

Black History Month is held in February as this is the month that two figures central to the Civil Rights Movement were born. The first is legendary US President Abraham Lincoln, who issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. The second is Frederick Douglass, a renowned abolitionist and key figure in the early African-American Civil Rights Movement. 

Why Do We Celebrate Black History Month? 

Black History Month honors the contributions of generations of African Americans to society. The month-long event shines a spotlight on everyone from the first men and women enslaved in Africa and put to work in the US, to later historical figures that helped spearhead the Civil Rights Movement.

Celebrating Black History Month in the Workplace – Best Practices

If you’ve never made an effort to celebrate Black History Month, there’s never been a better time. However, you need to approach the annual event with a degree of sensitivity. With a solid agenda and the right activities, Black History Month can be an illuminating experience and a great way to promote diversity within your organization. 

Make it a Company-Wide Effort 

There’s no point celebrating Black History Month if you’re not encouraging everyone within your organization to engage with it. It’s not reasonable to expect that everyone can participate in the full schedule of events and activities, but you should at least make them accessible to everyone.

Don’t Single Anyone Out 

It’s tempting to turn to your Black employees when celebrating Black History Month. However, you need to be delicate in your approach. Some employees may appreciate having the spotlight cast on them, although others are going to feel like they’re being put under a microscope. 

16 Ways to Honour Black History Month at Work 

Struggling to come up with unique ways to celebrate Black History Month at work? Whether it’s educational content or team-building activities, there are countless ways you can promote diversity and encourage inclusiveness this February. 

1. Inspire Employees to Learn About Black History Month 

Your employees might be familiar with a few high-profile historical figures, but there are countless more Black Americans who helped shape the country we know today. Use email newsletters to prime your team to take learning into their own hands, offering links to useful resources. 

2. Reach Out to Guest Speakers

To avoid being inauthentic, invite guest speakers to provide your employees with more in-depth insights about the Black community and the central role it has played in the development of the United States. 

3. Encourage Employees to Ask Questions

Even the most well-read employee is going to have blind spots when it comes to Black history. Utilize Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to moderate open discussions, where employees can ask honest questions and receive answers from people with actual insights.  

4. Black History Month Book Club

Book clubs bring people together and work incredibly well virtually. You’ve ample choice when it comes to African-American authors, with Langston Hughes, Alice Walker, and James Baldwin just a few names to consider.

5. Show Your Support for Black-Owned Businesses

A popular way to honor this annual celebration is to support Black-owned businesses. Use company emails and newsletters to spotlight local eateries and social haunts to drum up business for the Black community

6. Embrace Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Initiatives

If your organization is lacking when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion policies, now’s the time to make a change. No matter what their background, everyone should feel welcome and able to thrive within your organization. 

7. Play Black History Month Trivia 

Have you been encouraging employees to educate themselves this February? Now’s the time to test their knowledge with a round or two of Black History Month virtual team trivia.

black history month activities

8. Black History Month Scavenger Hunt 

Black Americans have made a major impact on pop culture. A virtual scavenger hunt inspired by Black History Month is a great activity for virtual teams. Draw up a list of common items like famous albums, popular books, and designer clothing labels from eminent Black creators.

9. Support Black Employees’ Energy, Boundaries, and Privacy 

It’s great that you’re making the effort to commemorate Black History Month. However, don’t automatically assume that your Black employees will want to fully engage with every activity. If some of your team would rather enjoy the celebrations at a distance, respect this.

10. Host a Virtual Lunch and Learn Series 

Scheduling conflicts don’t need to derail your plans for Black History Month. If free time is at a premium, use the lunch hour to engage employees with guest speaker sessions and other educational content. 

11. Work with a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consultant 

Still having trouble putting those DE&I policies into practice? Drafting in a neutral third party can help bring clarity. Offering an objective viewpoint, a DE&I consultant will be able to outline useful strategies and help you refine existing policies. 

12. Virtual Board Game Night – Black History Edition 

Planning on some after-hours fun to bring a remote workforce together? Nothing breaks the ice like a virtual board game night. Rather than the usual favorites, use Black History as your inspiration when assembling your game list. 

13. Plan Team Building Activities for the Rest of the Year

Feeling energized after assembling all those Black History Month events? While there’s still fuel in your tank, think about what other team-building activities you can schedule for later in the year.

14. Donate Time and Be a Mentor

Black History Month is also a time to look forward and consider the Black Americans who will be shaping the world of tomorrow. Encourage your employees to volunteer as mentors, sharing their skills, time, and talents with underserved youngsters. 

15. Start Taking Diversity Training Seriously 

If your organization isn’t a safe and inclusive one, you might find that any Black History Month celebrations meet with a muted response. If this is the case, it’s time to make diversity training a priority

ways to celebrate black history month

16. Black History Buzzer Game

Buzzer games are a tense alternative to trivia sessions. Reel off quickfire questions about Black history content you’ve just covered and encourage anyone who thinks they have the right answer to buzz in. 

FAQs


What are some topics for Black History Month? 

Every Black History Month has its own theme, so use this as a primer. Alternatively, look to more general topics like racial segregation, Black migration, and key figures from the Civil Rights Movement.  

How do you honor Black History Month? 

The key here is to be respectful. There are many dark chapters in the annals of Black American history, so a delicate approach is the way to go. 

How can we raise awareness for Black History Month?

A stuffed schedule of Black History Month events is great, but you should continue the good work once February is over. Stick it out with DE&I initiatives and identify ways your organization can enrich the lives of the Black community. 

Celebrate Black History Month Online with Gloww 

Even if your organization relies on remote or hybrid teams, it’s still possible to mark Black History Month. With a video conferencing platform like Gloww, you can bring together remote employees in one place. Whether you’re hosting a guest speaker, organizing diversity training, or assembling your team for a trivia session, Gloww will make staying connected this Black History Month easier than ever. 

Looking for other celebration ideas? Have a look at our Valentine’s Day activities, as well as St. Patrick’s Day for more festive fun in February.

If you’re ready to start planning your Black History Month schedule, you can get started with Gloww right now. Want to learn about Gloww’s advanced features? Take a look at our premium pricing tiers to see what’s available. Got a question? Get in touch with the team today.

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ben aflalo
ben aflalo

Ben Aflalo heads Gloww's product team with over two decades of leadership experience. Passionate about leveraging innovative technology, he is committed to building products for the greater good.

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