5 real ways to celebrate black history month

February is Black History Month -- and it's important for all Americans because Black History is history and is a part of our nation's story.

So what can you do to honor this cultural celebration?

1. Get information (AKA educate yourself!)

Read. A. Damn. Book. We love getting down and dirrrty with a good book to expand out minds and learn about the world around us. This Black History Month we suggest spicing up your reading list with one of the novels by one of the amazing black authors below. 

Already did your homework? We also love this list of good reads for Black History Month.

2. Support your local black-owned businesses

We believe in putting your money where your mouth is. Not only does shopping local help the economy (and your neighbors!) and usually getting a better quality product, small businesses help preserve a community's culture. Take some time to research black owned businesses, restaurants and services in your area.

Also, consider making a donation to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. They're an organization that works to end both idealogical and institutionalized discrimination against all minorities. 

3. Watch Hidden Figures in theaters

Set in the 1960's, this movie highlights the untold story of three black, female mathematicians who were integral to NASA's space exploration. Not only did these ladies perform literal rocket science, they burst through the discriminatory ceilings society had placed on them. The oscar nominated film stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae- so you know it's gonna be good.

4. Stand up against pervious and current injustices

Whether you see history reported incorrectly, or see some seriously uncool ish go down in public, it's important to stand up for those who are constantly dealing with racism, sexism, homophobia and general bigotry -- even if that means having a conversation with your family, friend, or coworker about why their behavior (or words) is hurtful.

We <3 this article on how to stop microagressions by the Chicago Community Trust.

5. Repeat these steps. All. Year. Long.