Guest Blogger Spotlight – VivaKolor

A note from CustomizedGirl: In reverence of Black History Month, we wanted to use our platform to help amplify black voices in the blogging community. So this year we’re featuring a post from a guest blogger. Her name is Alecia Grant and her blog is called VivaKolor. We encourage you to check out her blog where she writes about fashion and lifestyle topics from her home in New York. You can also read this featured article on her site here. For our guest spotlight, Alecia wanted to share her feelings on ‘How To Celebrate Black History Month On Social Media’. Check it out below!

How To Celebrate Black History Month On Social Media – by Alecia Grant via VivaKolor

During Black History Month, we celebrate the accomplishments, history and influence of the black community. I was compelled to write this post because now that we are home more and it’s a new year, it’s imperative for brands and creators to go further than a MLK quote. (not saying that there is anything wrong with that) And not to mention, 2020’s socioeconomic climate was an incredibly moving moment in the U.S. I feel that right now is the perfect chance to amplify voices while educating your audience, encouraging black creators to want to create more, focus on businesses advancing, and advocate for change.

So lets talk about how we can accomplish this:

1) Celebrate Black History All Year: Black History is more than a moment. To avoid being labeled as opportunistic, brands should prioritize black culture in everything that they do. Campaigns that are geared towards the celebration of the black community should provide value while being authentic, and empathetic.

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2) Spotlight Creators and Q&As: By showcasing black creators, black-owned businesses and black-owned brands in your industry this can be a great way to introduce your audience to people and businesses that they can support.

There are so many ways to do so. A great idea is to host a virtual (of course) Q&A event either on IG live, facebook, Zoom…. with a Black creator in your industry. 

For example,  Adobe is giving black creators a chance to share their stories.

**Also, please value creators time and expertise by offering to work with a budget. Free products can’t pay the bills. This is important.

3) Use Your Platform To Amplify People or Organizations: Most brands’ social media channels have lots of followers, which makes this an excellent opportunity for brands to use their channels to highlight organizations, individuals, and others who fit within their value system. For example, YouTube has committed to amplifying black creators and highlighting injustice with lots of initiatives. According to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, YouTube has over 2 billion users, and has created a multiyear $100 million dollar fund dedicated to “amplifying and developing the voices of black creators and artists and their stories”. This includes a series of roundtables, conversations and more that highlight black creators while raising money. Way to go YouTube!

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4) Share History Facts of Black Inventors/Innovators/Designers: This is fun as you can choose people who are not that popular to the mainstream. This can be done on any social media platform as well as your website Also, this is an introspective way to get your audience to stick around and want to see more creativity from you. For example, if you’re a fashion brand—how about highlighting Ann Lowe who was a fashion designer and best known for designing Jackie Kennedy’s wedding gown.

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Or highlight an impeccable author/poet like Alexandra Elle who uses her poetry to show compassion while inspiring.

This list can go on for a while, but I will stop here. So please continue to create content to celebrate black history all year on social media. I hope these strategies help and I am looking forward to seeing more value when creating content in the future.

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Amazing Women in Black History

In honor of Black History Month we have compiled a selection of black African/ American Women who have changed our world for the better. These women often did so while overcoming difficult and trying situations to improve their lives, and the lives of women everywhere.

Sojourner Truth: Sojourner Truth escaped slavery and became a very powerful and vocal speaker for women’s rights as well as abolition.  She toured the country and helped change American attitudes to slavery and women.  One of her most well- known speeches was entitles, “Ain’t I a Woman?”

Harriet Tubman: African American abolitionist, humanitarian, and spy for the Union in the American Civil War.  Tubman was born into slavery, yet even after her escape she was able to return and make 13 missions to rescue more than 70 slaves using the Underground Railroad.

Rosa Parks: Rosa Parks launched one of the most successful non-violent protests against discrimination in America by refusing to give up her seat on the bus.  Parks helped achieve a lasting change in our country as well as becoming a modest but courageous icon for the civil rights movement.

Maya Angelou: The poet laureate of the Clinton administration, who wrote a poem for his inauguration.  This poem expressed the hopes and aspirations of a whole generation.  She is also the author of  “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” and a social commentator.

Madam C.J. Walker: The first self-made millionaire who developed the “hot-iron” process for straightening hair and became a major business leader and philanthropist.

Coretta Scott King: Wife and partner to the famous Martin Luther King Jr. she made her own contribution to the Freedom Movement by leading the movement for a national holiday.

Loraine Hansberry:  This uncompromising foe of racism was the first black woman to write a Broadway play (A Raisin in the Sun)

Zora Neale Hurston: Anthropologist, novelist and pioneer scholar of Negro folklore who was one of the most widely published authors of the ’30s and ’40s.  Among these is the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Toni Morrison: Novelist, essayist, and Princeton University professor best known for her novels The Bluest Eye and Beloved.

Shirley Chisholm:  Shirley was the first black Congresswoman in 1968. She used her time in Congress to campaign for women and civil rights.

Oprah Winfrey: Winfrey came from humble beginnings to become one of the most influential television personalities. Oprah has been a positive role model emphasizing how women and black women can overcome obstacles to achieve great things.

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