February is Black History Month, and this year the celebration of the contributions and living legacies of black history feel more important than ever.
With the rise of protest movements such as "I Can't Breathe" and "Black Lives Matter" after the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, as well as the release of instant-classic, politically driven albums such as D'Angelo's Black Messiah, the last year proved to be a potent moment to reflect and promote the contributions and livelihood of black lives everywhere.
In honor of Black History Month, we've compiled just a few ways you can get involved.
Connect With Black Lives Matter.
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Black Lives Matter is not just a popular hashtag on Twitter; it is also a force of discussion and social change. As the organizers of Black Lives Matter indicate on their website, "This is Not a Momement, but a Movement."
Want to get involved? The Black Lives Matter website will connect you with a local #BlackLivesMatter conference to participate and organize near you.
Get Educated and Help Others Do The Same.
Discussing and sharing black history should not be relegated to one month in the year. In order to best promote black history throughout the year, it is important to offer resources and educational tools to keep the curious informed.
MTV's own Look Different is a great place to start. There you can find all sorts of information on the history of racial bias, and what you can do to make a difference.
You can also consider donating books or other resources that feature prominent and obscure black public figures, thinkers and activists to your local library. Libraries are contemporary community centers, offering everything from books to lectures to music to free internet access to a broad audience of children, teens and adults. But many can't survive on their own, and rely on support from their communities.
The American Library Association offers a list of resources for donating books and other materials to libraries.
Support Black Creators and Visionaries.
The Wildflower Project
History is made every day, and you can help make history by helping fund new projects from black creators. Kickstarter and Indiegogo are filled with numerous projects from creators across the globe, and many don't have the big publicity boost of mainstream media (we're looking at you, TLC Kickstarter).
Consider donating to projects such as Be Bonafide, a natural hair magazine out of Brooklyn, or this contemporary interpretation of "The Wiz" featuring youth groups from Miami.
Send Your Money Straight To The Box Office.
Vince Talotta/Toronto Star via Getty Images
This year's Oscar nominations were criticized for their dismal representations of people of color, especially black actors and filmmakers. Luckily, you can show your support by checking out the numerous, well-crafted films currently in theaters featuring black protagonists like "Girlhood," "Selma," and "Beyond the Lights."