I recently began reading Love by Toni Morrison and its given me a new sense of pride in my identity. Her words have forced me to acknowledge (my culture, my history, my heritage, my potential, my purpose, my skin, my sensuality, my legacy, my life) all from a new perspective. How the the woman I want to grow into is shaped by where I’ve been. I don’t say that in a sense of my own personal journey, but more so black women as an entirety. Our perspective movement. After all, you don’t know where you’re going if you have no idea where you’ve come from.
In the midst of everything that happens in our lives, I think we forget to reflect on our legacies. February marks Black History Month. The one month where all the Disney Channel movies are “ethnic” and “urban.” I put quotations because (ethnic + urban) are both such loaded words. They play the episode of That’s So Raven when Raven doesn’t get hired because she’s black, but Chelsea does. The time of year when they have Malcolm X, The Color Purple, and Roots on heavy rotation. In elementary school, they have you singing Negro spirituals in music class. For these 28 daze, we’re expected to show admiration, acknowledgment, and appreciation for our history and our growth as a people.
28 daze. That’s it.
My opinion on black history month is this: black history is constantly evolving, developing, happening, changing, creating. It’s present. That’s so contradictory: black history being present. It’s alive and well in all of us and although we believe we’re so far removed from our past, it manages to make itself relevant in our present lives. Two of the proudest pieces of me and my identity is being African American and being a woman. The intersection of those two create a strong, resilient, independent, intimidating, loving being. One whom can possess unconditional love but also not take shit from anyone. Those two are my favorite.
Don’t let 28 daze confine you to knowing, learning, and appreciating your history. Don’t neglect the richness of your culture just because the world only decides to shed light on it one month out of the year. The shortest month at that.. but let me go ahead and sip this tea once again. Learn about you. Learn about us. Black history month is every month.
A special shout out to the countless pioneers who’ve devoted their lives to creating both an equal and ideal world for us. Your effort never goes unnoticed or unappreciated. #BHM