WHY CELEBRATE BLACK HERITAGE WEEK?

Why not? Black Heritage Week is about recognizing, sharing and celebrating things we strive to do on a daily basis – shop with Black businesses, support our Black artists and professionals and participate in the programming of our Black cultural institutions.

The inspiration for Black Heritage Week began in Baltimore City during the Summer of 2017 when AFRAM, the annual African American festival hosted by the City of Baltimore, was reduced from two days to one. Founder J. Lynn Robinson thought it a perfect opportunity for the residents of Baltimore City to take their celebrating into their own hands.

“The activities and practices that take place during Black Heritage Week are rooted in love and community empowerment! Resources are shared to ensure the sustainability of the observance and those practices,” she says. “Our hope is that this week will become ingrained in our collective experience alongside other such observances—so that the culture that is so important to society as a whole is continually embraced and celebrated.”​

BHW is observed during the 3rd week of August, which coincides with the commemoration of the birth of Marcus Garvey, who was born on August 17, 1887, and whose message of economic empowerment across the African Diaspora remains significant and continues to resonate within the larger context of community empowerment.

This year, we celebrate the 101st Anniversary of the Red, Black & Green Flag, established at the 1920 Convention of the UNIA and African Communities League, founded by Marcus Garvey.


ANNUAL THEMES

“Beautify & Codify”

“If it is to be, it’s up to WE!” Organize community cleanups and beautification projects where you live, work, and worship.


“Spend Black”

That’s it. Spend your time and your $$ supporting Black Businesses, both online and especially in your own city or neighborhood. Intentionally support Black-owned and centered arts organizations, businesses, and restaurants in your community. We hope to elevate these city institutions and encourage economic development by circulating our dollars in our own communities.


“Be The Village”

It takes a village to raise a child, and that is doubly true in the midst of this global pandemic!! We encourage all citizens, especially those who work in human services, to “Be The Village” for Youth in need of support! The BHW Planning Team will publish a listing of community organizations offering volunteer opportunities.​


“How We See Us”

Explore films and television programs by Black Filmmakers and enjoy them with your family and friends. The BHW Planning Team will publish links throughout the week.


SAY THEIR NAMES

Libation Ceremonies & Ancestral Tributes

Let’s celebrate our lost loved ones through Libation! A Libation Ceremony is an ancient form of prayer. A petition is made while pouring water or alcohol to the Creator and to the passed over ancestors, for their assistance with our human affairs. The libation is symbolic of invoking these energies. We speak aloud the names of those we have lost. It is customary to say a prayer giving thanks and appreciation for the guidance and blessings received.