On February 1st, just like clockwork, timelines exploded in black history facts, tributes and pride. Two days into March and those very same feeds are now rather lackluster. That’s right. Back to popular memes, selfies, subliminal quotes and Tik Tok videos. Let’s be clear. I see nothing wrong with any of the above mentioned post types. I post selfies all of the time. We all have the freedom to choose what content we’d like to share to the world on our social media, but what happened to that February energy? You know, the energy that had you posting famous black quotes and little known black history facts. Yep, that energy.
Oh, I forgot! The month of February is over. Schools around the country will no longer have Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman or Frederick Douglass (since these are some of the only figures that seem to be recognized every February) in their teacher planner books this month. News outlets will remove the black history segment from their broadcast and return those 5 minutes back to the celebrity news portion. Target will pull their seasonal black history merchandise and put it on clearance. And just like that, back to all things non-black. After all, it’s March now.
Sadly, the only black enrichment (or enrichment at all for that matter) some children receive is that given to them by their school. How does that work? As it relates to remembering & celebrating OUR history, OUR culture, OUR pioneers of both yesterday AND today, that responsibilty is OURS. As parents it is OUR job to teach our children the things that they won’t learn about at school. I didn’t learn about Nat Turner, Angela Davis or Assata Shakur until I was an adult. It is our job, our duty and responsibility to keep our rich culture alive! It is up to US to remember US! If we fail to be proactive in keeping our legacy a conversation, that legacy WILL die. If we don’t teach our children ourselves and instead depend on other entities to be their only teacher, that legacy WILL die.
Talk to elders. Read books. Visit museums. Watch documentaries. The more you know, the more you can pass down. I give my kids a piece of OUR history to research and collectively create a presentation about, every other week. I spark random conversations and solicit trivia as often as I think to. I INTENTIONALLY learn new things for both myself and them. When we go to the library, they are permitted three book options. My rule is that one of those books has to be something black history related and I want to hear about it. Let’s learn from one another!
I am ending this post with the same tone that I started it. I WILL NOT allow 28-29 days to be the only period in which me and mine celebrate OUR people. I WILL NOT not wait around for others to teach my children something that I can teach them myself. I WILL continue to celebrate US on a day to day basis. Lastly, I WILL beseech you to do the same.
To those who have made not only celebrating us but also advocating for us apart of their daily lives, I thank you. I love you and I appreciate you.
In closing, this post was not meant to judge or criticize anyone, but instead it was meant to encourage a different sort of movement and acceptance. We are worth being celebrated EVERY DAY.