Ayyyyeeee Happy Black History Month, everybody!
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with this month for most of my life. When I was a young kid, Black History Month didn’t mean all that much to me. The lack of melanin in my teachers and classmates meant that any extra attention to Black history was reserved for what could fit on the glass encased bulletin board that hung somewhere near the administration office. Once I got to high school, I started to hate Black History Month because I knew that meant a super awkward moment was awaiting me. Every February 1st, a teacher or a classmate or once even the principle would decide to point me out as one of the only two black people in the class (shout out Marcus Shelby if you out there) and ask me some kind of unwelcome personal question that would have me speak for all black people.
It wasn’t fun. BUT then I graduated high school, moved to LA, and learned to self educate! Black History Month became a time where I chose to learn more about myself and my black history than I knew existed. I was geeking out over the Moors, Madame C.J. Walker, and so much more. Did you know that ancient Egyptians used afro picks? In college, I decided that Black History Month was insulting. Why would we only get a month when others gets the rest of the year? I would look at what major media decided to cover and be frustrated that they wouldn’t dive deeper into the history of black people globally. I’d hashtag #BLACKHISTORYYEAR every single day in the month of February.
I still believe that discovering more about black history will enrich your life all year round. I also know that it is not everyday that people are looking to educate themselves on any kind of history. So, if black people have an opportunity to share our history, learn our history, and have our history acknowledged; I’ve got to be on board. I celebrate Black History Month because I want to know more about the past to help me prepare and move toward the future. I hope you all have take even a few moments to learn something new today! And you can start here!
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