The month of February is the shortest month on the calendar but is filled with many days of celebration. For starters, it is Black History Month. The month where we acknowledge the contributions of African-Americans to the world. This is also when St. Valentine’s Day is commemorated with exchanging of various gifts for loved ones. For decades, these days have been recognized nationally and consistently; however, there is one holiday during this month that is often overlooked but should undoubtedly be actively acknowledged; the National Black Day of Love.
This day was founded in 1993 by Ayo Handy Kendi and is the 3rd national African-American “wholyday (holiday).” The National Black Day of Love is a day where African-Americans celebrate and demonstrate atonement, reconciliation, and actively show black love for 24 hours through 5-tenets that Kendi identified; love for the Creator, love for self, love for the family, love within the black community, and love for the Black race. This African-centered day also encourages people to momentarily step away from Valentine’s Day’s commercialization to delve deeper into one’s spirit by encouraging others to establish spiritual goals to inspire black self-love instead of hatred, increased peace, and racial healing.
If you want to begin a new tradition and begin commemorating National Black Day of Love but don’t know where to start, check out the list below for some ideas.
- Begin or spend the day acknowledging how far the Creator has brought you, or us as a people. Spend some time in a state of gratefulness, meditate on His goodness and share it with others. This can be a joint or individual activity. You can also choose this day to rededicate your life to the Creator and begin a new relationship with Him.
- Spend the day acknowledging who you are as an African-American. Take some time to learn about your African roots, discover new knowledge about your hair, features, and skin complexion. No matter what you decide to do, be sure this activity uplifts your spirit and gives you a better sense of pride and understanding of who you are as an African-American.
- Seek reconciliation with someone. We don’t want to continue the year with unresolved issues with loved ones. If you feel the time is right and you are ready to heal a broken relationship, take the first step and reach out to someone to begin the process of healing.
- Prepare an intimate activity with your spouse that will connect you on a deeper level.
- Enjoy an activity with your family that is centered around learning about your heritage. Prepare an African cuisine (or purchase one) or engage in an activity that will bring you closer to your loved ones.
- Drop off inspirational notes to members of your community.
- Avoid negative people and energy on this day. If you have to unplug from social media for a few hours, do so. Stay focused on rejuvenating your spirit with self-love ventures, self-love knowledge, and peace.
- Support a Black-Owned business. There are several reputable black businesses to support daily; however, on this day, let’s be a little more intentional with our efforts.
- Show a black community some love. Volunteer at a community shelter, clean a church, donate a food basket to a family in need, of course abiding by all COVID-19 rules and restrictions. Whatever you decide to do, be sure it uplifts the community and cleanses your soul.
- Take some time to recreate or re-establish spiritual goals. Make a list of things you want to cleanse from your spirit or a list of things you want to replenish your spirit with. Begin this journey of rejuvenation for your soul on the day where love is nationally recognized.
As a people, we should practice these tenets daily to discover the truth of who we are, take back our families and communities, strengthen our families, genuinely love ourselves, and uplift each other. Every day should be the National Black Day of Love if you exist in black skin because if you don’t love yourself or your people, how can you expect others to do the same?
Liz Lampkin is a Love, Relationships, and Lifestyle writer. Follow her on social media @Liz_Lampkin.