This post is a repost from February 2022. Rather than writing a new post about this important month, I thought I would just share what I wrote last year as it still resonants with me, and I hope it will for you:
Black History Month (repost from February 2, 2022)
I had a different post planned for this morning, but I was thinking about “Black History Month” in the US, which is every February. Here is a link from the History Channel network if you are not familiar with it or would like to learn more: Black History Month.
No matter where you live in the world I am guessing you are familiar with the history and struggles of people of African decent in the United States. I want to share a post I put on facebook yesterday about Black History Month:
Today is the first day of Black History Month and I know there are individuals in this country who might roll their eyes each February when this month comes around. When I was growing up my parents always made a big deal about Black History Month and we even had some type of encyclopedia they had bought related to Black History and had me read it regularly. Some of you might might not understand what it meant to me as a young Black child to learn about people like me who did GREAT THINGS. Growing up in the 1970s most of the history taught my school focused on “White History”. Back then they even skewed stories of slavery being focused on African tribes selling their tribe members instead of the horrors of our ancestors being stolen also from Africa. Growing up in a time where the focus was that as a person of color you were “less than” a White person was a very different experience than growing up today. I am so thankful for Black History Month and I will always celebrate it! I am so thankful to my parents that in a country that said I was “less than”, I was raised to know that I am “more than” any oppression that tries to tell me I am “less than”.
I am grateful that my parents who believed in education and making the best of yourself despite any challenges you might face. I always think of that Mahatma Gandhi quote when I think of how I was raised:
I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.
Remembering this quote has served me well when I am in a situation (which still happens today) in which it is implied that I am “less than”.
I recently finished an awesome audiobook by the Young Adult Fiction writer, John Green – The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet.
In this amazing collection of essays where he “reviews” common human experiences during our geological age, the Anthropocene.
To give the readers a perspective of time since the geologic creation of the earth, he uses the span of a year. The time humans appeared on the earth would be late December and what we would consider “major events in history” would be mere seconds, or milliseconds in the time span of the earth.
So you might be wondering where I am going with this…
Well the author’s use of a familiar time scale – a year’s period – really put into perspective how little time has really passed in the scope of human history (and tiny in the scope of earth’s history) of what we consider to be significant changes in race relations in the US like the end of slavery and the Civil Rights movement. I hope in a couple more generations, how people treat each other will evolve (hopefully for the good). Just my musings I am sharing.
I will close this post with a song that I’ve been listening to a lot lately, by Damien Marley, one of the very talented musician sons of Bob Marley, called Speak Life. It gives me a lot of thought on how I want to live my life. (I did some research and the video was shot in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, during Damien Marley’s tour of Africa. It is subtitled in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia).
If you’d like to see the lyrics here is a link: Damian Marley Speak Life Lyrics.
If you are wondering what “Speak Life” means, I did a little googling and it is related to a Bible verse and here’s a general summary which is a consensus of my research:
To speak life is to be a person of encouragement, edification, and blessing to others through what you say.GOTQUESTIONS.ORG
I say we all go forward and “Speak Life” and make this world as bright as we can.
Featured image from dscout.com
February 2, 2023
In addition to Black History Month, I am so happy there are months for other minorities in the U.S. like National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept 15 – October 15), and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (May), etc. because I think it is so important to continue to remind everyone of the contributions of people who are not of European ancestry to U.S. History. I also think these kind of months may inspire children who are not of European ancestry by showing/reminding them what people “just like them” have accomplished in the face of adversity.