Do’s and Don’ts of Black Historical past Month Campaigns


We’ve about yet another full week in Black Historical past Month – though, celebrating Black historical past and dealing to eradicate systemic oppression extends past February. Sadly, there are people who get it flawed. Possibly it’s disingenuous efforts to point out solidarity that finish as quickly because the month does or extra complicated points because of the nuanced nature of one thing of this magnitude. Some even actively dread the month and what folks resolve to give you to realize brownie factors with out making actual modifications. We’re right here to shed some gentle on the do’s and don’ts in launching Black Historical past Month campaigns.

Overview of BHM+

Black Historical past Month is noticed yearly for the entire month of February, and that comes with recognizing the achievements and the central function of Black folks in U.S. historical past. Within the late Sixties, it developed from every week of recognition, established by historian Carter G. Woodson and others, to Black Historical past Month on faculty campuses. 

This was partially because of the civil rights motion and an consciousness of the id of Black folks. Nonetheless, it isn’t solely acknowledged within the U.S., as Canada and the UK additionally commit a month to rejoice Black Historical past. Going again to the Nineteen Twenties, yearly, a theme is supplied to focus the eye of the general public, and this yr it’s “Black Well being and Wellness.” Its celebration tends to be controversial amongst manufacturers because of the performative activism that normally comes with it.


Listed below are some suggestions and some positively obtained Black Historical past Month campaigns explaining why they have been executed nicely.

Acknowledge Black historical past year-round

You would possibly’ve heard the phrase “it’s greater than a month” repeated many instances, and that’s true. BHM isn’t just a development that ought to solely be participated in when it’s widespread and may garner views and engagements. Some methods to acknowledge which might be by highlighting Black companies, leaders, creators, and commissioning Black designers to remake their merchandise. Moreover, you may give scholarships, and be part of forces with Black folks/creators for collaborations. 

Black Beyond Measure: Target's BHM initiativeGoal’s marketing campaign, “Black Past Measure,” leads by instance in amplifying success tales and celebrating what it means to be Black. Merchandise from Black-owned companies, in addition to Black entrepreneurs and Black Goal group members, are showcased.

One thing that’s usually neglected is to acknowledge your black staff and their achievements. Guaranteeing that their enter is heard and valued within the firm is important. Variety Fairness and Inclusion needs to be built-in into your methods for long-term success. By doing this, you present that the totally different views and backgrounds of your staff and coworkers are understood and revered.

#BlackTikTok celebrates Black creators

TikTok began off its Black Historical past Month campaigns by celebrating #BlackTikTok. It contains Black music playlists, new in-app stickers, a billboard tribute overlaying the Pendry West Hollywood, tales highlighting this yr’s Black TikTok Trailblazers, and TikTok LIVE programming that spotlights Black creators making waves on and off the platform. It is a worldwide initiative that may proceed past Black Historical past Month.

Interested by working with influencers for a marketing campaign? Take a look at this weblog to see some African-American creators you might highlight in your subsequent one.


As we hinted at earlier, performative activism is a big don’t. Fairly than devotion to the general trigger, the aim is to extend one’s social capital and look on-line. One of these activism is counterproductive and downright dangerous to the act of solidarity that’s alleged to be the purpose.

Listed below are some examples.

  1. Posting an announcement on social media with out taking offline motion
  2. Altering the model brand colours or covers of works and leaving it at that

Barnes & Noble Black History Month cover redesign

One among Barnes & Noble’s Black Historical past Month campaigns from 2020 did the latter, and it ended up being an enormous miss. The e-book retailer initiated a plan to launch classics similar to Frankenstein, “Romeo & Juliet”, and The Fantastic Wizard of Oz, with redesigned covers that featured black characters. Nonetheless, after dealing with criticism, they launched an announcement asserting its suspension of the initiative.

Taking these works created by non-black folks, and selling these with black characters on the duvet does nothing. Whether or not it’s graphics shared on social media or the usage of a trending hashtag, all don’t have any lasting impression and fail to work in the direction of or drive systemic change.

Interested by working with influencers for a marketing campaign? Take a look at this weblog to see another errors each model ought to keep away from. 

Again in 2019, Adidas launched a Black Historical past Month assortment which included an all-white shoe known as “Ultraboost Uncaged.” Social media was fast to reply, because of the coloration and title in affiliation with BHM. From there, the product was withdrawn from the gathering. This highlights the significance of getting a various and educated group of staff whose cultural data and perception are valued. 

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As we embark on the final week of Black Historical past Month, that is an energetic push to let it final greater than a month. With these dos and don’ts, be certain that your solidarity isn’t just when it’s trending or throughout this month. It’s vital that the methods inside Black Historical past Month campaigns are sustainable and applied all all through your organization. There needs to be no query as to its authenticity according to the model’s goal. Black accomplishments and contributions shouldn’t be restricted to a month’s appreciation. The dialogue must develop and proceed year-round, because the contributions of Black folks don’t solely exist prior to now. Now you’ll be able to see some methods to rejoice and proceed this dialog.

This text was written by Grace-Ann Grannum

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