Celebrating North American Black History Month with Cashblack
February is North American Black History Month, a time to honor the achievements and contributions of Black people in the United States and Canada. It is also a time to support Black-owned businesses and keep the Black dollar in the Black community.
The Origins of North American Black History Month
The idea of celebrating Black history dates back to 1926, when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) launched Negro History Week in February, coinciding with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The goal was to promote the study and appreciation of the Black past and to inspire the Black present and future
The week-long event gained popularity and recognition over the years, and in 1976, President Gerald Ford officially declared February as Black History Month, urging Americans to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history. Since then, every U.S. president has endorsed a specific theme for Black History Month. The theme for 2025 is "African Americans and the Arts", highlighting the artistic and cultural expressions of Black people in various fields.
In Canada, Black History Month was first celebrated in 1978 in Toronto, following a motion by the Ontario Black History Society. In 1995, the House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month, following a motion by the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament, Jean Augustine. The motion was carried unanimously by the House of Commons. In 2008, Senator Donald Oliver, the first Black man appointed to the Senate, introduced the Motion to Recognize Contributions of Black Canadians and February as Black History Month. It received unanimous approval and was adopted on March 4, 2008. The adoption of this motion completed Canada's parliamentary position on Black History Month.
The Importance of Supporting Black-Owned Businesses
One of the ways to celebrate Black History Month is to support Black-owned businesses, which are vital to the economic empowerment and advancement of the Black community. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly six-in-ten Black adults (58%) say supporting Black businesses, or “buying Black,” is an extremely or very effective strategy for moving Black people toward equality in the United States.
However, Black-owned businesses face many challenges and barriers, such as lack of access to capital, discrimination, and systemic racism. The COVID-19 pandemic has also disproportionately affected Black-owned businesses, with many of them forced to close or reduce their operations. According to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 41% of Black-owned businesses shut down between February and April 2020, compared to 17% of White-owned businesses.
Despite these obstacles, Black-owned businesses have shown resilience and innovation, and have contributed to the diversity and vibrancy of the U.S. and Canadian economies. In 2020, there were an estimated 140,918 U.S. firms with majority Black or African American ownership, up 14% from 124,004 in 2017, according to the latest available data from the Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey (ABS). Those firms brought in an estimated $141.1 billion in gross revenue in 2020, an 11% increase since 2017. In Canada, there were an estimated 22,000 Black-owned businesses in 2019, generating more than $1.2 billion in annual revenue and employing more than 33,000 people, according to a report by the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce.
Supporting Black-owned businesses is not only beneficial for the Black community, but also for the society as a whole. According to a study by the University of Georgia, if the average American spent $100 a year more on Black-owned businesses, it would generate an additional $55 million in annual revenue, creating more jobs, more income, and more tax revenue. Moreover, supporting Black-owned businesses helps to preserve and celebrate the Black culture, heritage, and identity, which are often underrepresented or marginalized in the mainstream market.
We are also excited to announce that we will be officially launching in North America in time for U.S. Black History Month in 2025. We are looking forward to expanding our network of Black-owned businesses and reaching more customers who want to support them. We believe that by working together, we can create a positive impact for the Black community and the society at large.
Join Cashblack Today and Celebrate Black History Month
If you are looking for a way to celebrate Black History Month and support Black-owned businesses, join Cashblack today and start earning cashback on your online purchases. It's free, easy, and rewarding. You can sign up on our website or download our app and create an account. You will also receive a bonus for joining Cashblack and making your first purchase through our platform.
By joining Cashblack, you are not only saving money and earning rewards, but also supporting Black-owned businesses and keeping the Black dollar in the Black community. You are also honoring the legacy and achievements of Black people in North America and beyond. Together, we can make a difference and create a more equitable and prosperous future for everyone.