As I’m sure you’re aware, February is Black History Month. Growing up, I think the biggest complaint that I heard was that we got the shortest month of the year. Before I really understood too much, I would just celebrate that we got a month. Although I still strongly believe in celebrating our 28 (and sometimes 29) days of the year, I’m coming to realize some far more important things. For one thing, we cannot just treat Black History Month as a look at the past. The things that happened last week, month, and year are just as important. We are constantly shaping our history, and we need to act accordingly.
On top of always shaping our history, in today’s day and age it seems like there is always someone (usually a white man), who does something racist, but is too afraid of the word “racist” to admit what they have done. This tells me that we should be focusing on the 1800s history, the 1960s history, the 1990s history, and the 2010s history more than ever. On the other hand, it seems like the ally network has grown, but what’s annoying is that allies aren’t saying anything that hasn’t already been said. It’s jut that now people seem willing to listen. I could harp on this, or I could just be happy that we have a voice.
Some people might find what I’m saying depressing, and I completely understand why. For me, I feel like it’s far more important to focus on the victories and use them as fuel to keep going. Nothing will make you work harder than trying to prove somebody else wrong. But nothing will make you work longer than knowing that what you are doing is making a difference.