During the month of February, Black History Month, atop of all other months of the year, we celebrate the greatness black individuals have brought to the table. Here are some of the best Black History Month campaigns, as decided by us at DMS.
This year, Instagram launched a hashtag, #ShareBlackStories, to promote Black History Month, Black users and their stories.
“You can #ShareBlackStories by using new creative tools, conceptualized by Black voices at Instagram, including camera effects inspired by the rich cultural history of telling stories through African mud cloth patterns,” Instagram announced on their blog. Instagram’s own account is taking part in the conversation, too.
To honor the black community on Instagram and celebrate #BlackHistoryMonth, we’re kicking off a new series: #ShareBlackStories. This month and beyond, follow along and share your unique perspective using the hashtag. For artist Tawny Chatmon (@tawnychatmon), #ShareBlackStories, and Black History Month in general, is “not about having other people validate us. It’s about us celebrating ourselves — celebrating ourselves and creating that work that we want to be in this world.” Tawny creates compelling images by fusing together black history and art history — sometimes quite literally. For one of her series, “Deeply Embedded,” she took portraits of young girls and placed images of African women from the U.S. National Archives in their hair. “If you see work like this with black faces, it’s going to have some effect on you,” says Tawny, who lives outside of Washington, DC. The inspiration for these photo collages came after Tawny read about the real-life stories of children who were sent home from school because of their hairstyles and their natural hair. “It became personal,” Tawny explains. “I have three kids. So I just started feeling like, these are my kids. They are my responsibility.” Today on our story, we visit Tawny’s studio to see more of her powerful portraits. Photo by @tawnychatmon
NBA: Barrier Breakers
Using snippets of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legendary speech, “I Have a Dream,” the National Basketball Association (NBA) recognized the first Black NBA players, first Black NBA coaches and many other players of color with this 2016 TV spot.
The ad, titled Barrier Breakers, is meant to portray how far the NBA has come since its inception and how inclusion makes the sport greater.
MBK Alliance And The Obama Foundation: We Are The Ones
While not made specifically for Black History Month, the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Alliance ad, entitled We Are The Ones, was made with President Barack Obama and other prominent Black figures.
MBK, a nonprofit founded on enhancing the lives of and opportunities for boys and men of color, and the Obama Foundation worked together in 2017 to produce this 90-second spot, which encourages every young individual to uplift one another.
Spotify: Black History Is Happening Now
Spotify is founded on the principle of discovery, and the digital music brand wanted to extend that primary value to its listeners in honor of Black History Month. "It really all started with the idea that Spotify is a brand that stands for discovery – discovery of music, of culture and of ourselves and each other," said Spotify’s Director of Social Impact Kerry Steib. "And we genuinely believe that creativity and community will inspire a more empathetic world."
The Spotify Happening Now campaign features artists and creatives who are looking to make a change for Black America by discussing important topics through music, videos and podcasts.
Hennessy: #WEARE CREATORS
Hennessy, the cognac brand, created their 2019 #WEARE CREATORS campaign to showcase the talent of Black Millennials and how the Hennessy tagline, “Never stop, never settle,” relates to these Millennials’ work.
Responding to the lack of African Americans in the creative community, Hennessy launched a new campaign that explores their artistry. In the campaign, Hennessy highlights creatives, like TJ Mizell, A$AP Ferg, Kerby Jean-Raymond and Sami Miro, who have paved their own paths and overcome adversity on the way.
Black History Month is a dedicated time for Americans to rejoice in their heritage. During this month, many brands curate campaigns to recognize the greatness of the Black community and the creativity of those consumers.