Updated: Feb 8
Throughout the month of February, the significant contributions and achievements made within the Black community are celebrated. This annual observance is also a time to honor all Black people across history, from the enslaved Africans of the 17th century to the Black Americans of today. From its official enactment in 1976 by then-president Gerald Ford, originally a week-long "Black History Week", Black History Month has become an integral part of the year in the United States.
We asked our agents and team members at Brown Harris Stevens the thought-provoking question: What Does Black History Month Mean to You? Here are their responses:
"Black History Month is important to me because the achievements of the African diaspora are celebrated and recognized for their contribution to America and the world."
"Black History Month means everything to me. It's a great time to be proud of my heritage. I support Black culture and businesses throughout the year. It's a time to reflect on the positive contributions Black people have made in America and abroad. It's a great time in NYC to go to art shows and museums that focus on Black culture and to experience different styles of foods in Black-owned restaurants."
Downtown, Midtown, and Uptown, NYC
"Black History Month is an incredible time of the year where we, as Americans, can come together to celebrate the impactful contributions that our culture has brought to the table. From the sciences, businesses, and arts, to pop culture and politics, we get to applaud the giants of the past and present who have given everything to make this a more perfect union."
Harlem and Riverdale
"Black History is American History. One does not function without the other. They are intertwined and integrally connected. The contributions of African Americans to American Culture (and World Culture) encompass Music, Art, Fashion, Innovations, Law, Politics, the Armed Forces, and Business Achievements to name just a few. The contributions should be promoted and honored all year long, and not just during one month during the year."
"[Black History Month] is a dedicated time to highlight black talent and impact."
"It is heartbreaking how the African American population has been mistreated by this country and all others. We must look at the past to learn from it... I love that we are supporting Black-Owned businesses."
"A time for reflection on the tapestry that is Black History in America. Incredible cultural history and a testament to the strength and struggles of humans."
"[Black History Month] is a daily awareness and opportunity for advocacy, action, and accountability, that should not be restricted or encouraged for just one month, but rather a part of our daily understanding and world... It’s a month that reminds us to live with the awareness, recognition, and acknowledgement of Black lives and history year round."
"A time to celebrate our diversity and to remind myself that NYC is my chosen family."
"It is a time to reflect on all that the Black community has brought to our world. Remembering the original sins of our country and working to acknowledge them and embrace all people regardless of the color of their skin."
"Every day I try to learn and understand black history, since it's mostly hidden from us."
"A time to celebrate a community that has contributed so much to American culture."
Harlem and Riverdale
"It is a reminder and acknowledgement of the many contributions that come from the black community. A celebration of those contributions and how important it is to give back and support in the community you live and work in and for me that is Harlem!"
West Side, NYC
"The recognition of the contributions of African Americans for the last 400 years in forming this country and the history that we are still learning today."
"[Black History Month means] celebrating love, community, history, and culture!"
"[The month offers] opportunities to make myself aware of what my race has contributed to the United States of America." --- Hilliard Greene