While Black History Month may bring diversity & inclusion outreach efforts to the forefront for many brands, many top brands have had continuous multiyear efforts focused on multicultural marketing outreach to the Black | African American communities. Yes, any multicultural advertising effort benefits from continuity as well as authenticity, Black History Month as well as other diversity events serve to bring attention to diversity & inclusion efforts of companies as well as governments. But, what is Black History Month and is Black History Month only celebrated in the U.S.?
What is Black History Month?
Black History Month is an annual celebration (February) to recognize the influence and achievements of the African American community in the United States as well as the Black community in Canada. Per the History Channel, In the United States the origins date back to 1915 and took various forms such as Negro History Week which was established in 1926. Yet it was in 1976 when President Gerald Ford formally recognized Black History Month and as such it has been the month of February and seen as a time to celebrate the contributions of the Black community.
Is Black History Month only celebrated in the United States?
Does Canada have a Black History Month?
Some of the most important countries to designate a black history month include the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
According to the Canadian Government website, celebrations of Black | African Canadian achievements began shortly after the U.S. Negro History Week establishment in 1926. Yet, for Canada the official recognition of Black History Month came in 1995 through the House of Commons by unanimous consent with completion of the motion formalized in February of 2008 by the Motion to Recognize Contributions of Black Canadians and February as Black History Month
Working with companies, governments, and their agencies, Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month and other diversity calendar dates are of interest to show that they are inclusive and use that as a time to reach out to the communities.
On the positive side, for many companies these dates represent an opportunity to evaluate their overall multicultural advertising initiatives as well as diversity & inclusion efforts. However, there are also things to consider before jumping right in to a short sighted campaign to try to show that you are inclusive.
- Timing & Noise: If you are considering your first foray into targeting your message to a multicultural audience, Black History Month would be a time that may be difficult to break through with your message as that is the time with an increased focus by many brands. (What about January, August, or even throughout the year).
- Authenticity: A word thrown out by marketers frequently in regards to reaching diverse markets yet it is important. Possibly even more important than coming across as authentic is to avoid being seen as pandering so from messaging, to timing, the how may be even more important than when.
Take this time to consider the contributions and achievements of the Black community to the overall fabric of your country. As an organization, take stock of your overall diversity & inclusion efforts internally as well as your outreach to multicultural communities.
When looking to reach multicultural communities during these festivals or more importantly everyday, the team at Alcance Media Group is happy to assist. Contact Us Today!