Celebrating a small batch of BHM kicks worthy of collecting, or just for conversation.

It is February 2021 and the sneaker industry pulls out all the stops for 28 (or 29) days celebrating Black History Month. Sneaker collectors are stacking up their boxes and reveling at the mound of inspiration and forward thinking.

2005 started it all when NIKE released the Air Force 1 with a Pan-African flag colorway (red, black, green). By 2016, every major sneaker brand was releasing their version of what BHM meant to those who helped design and market the trend. There are more than 100 Black History Month sneakers on the market today. Mostly, these designs shine light on the contribution of athletes (MLK was last month) in sports from tennis, to soccer to basketball.

Even zappos.com has an ode to either Do The Right Thing, In Living Color or Cross Colours in its website theme.

Here’s a look at only a small handful of shoes and apparel, in no particular order, that inspired a movement, if only for 28 (or 29) short days.

What is Black History Month?

To raise awareness of African American’s achievements and contributions to society and civilization, Carter G. Woodson, founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). The ASNLH conceived and announced Negro History Week in February, 1925. 

The event was first celebrated during one week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The response was overwhelming: Black history clubs sprang up; teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils. Fifty years in, by 1976 African-America History Month was widespread and observed across the globe.

Tanita Gray

Editor-In-Chief, Publisher and Founder of Last-Report.com, and CEO of Shoes Waste. Gray is a footwear, accessory and apparel designer/developer by day - writer and content architect by night. With over 17 years of experience in the fashion industry, you can find her teaching sustainability classes, drawing thumbnails, writing in her journal, giving her husband & children enormous hugs, or eating french fries.

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