Today marks the first day of Black History Month, an outcropping of Black History Week which began in 1928 with the theme of Civilization: A World Achievement. This year’s theme is Black Resistance.
From our roots on the continent of Africa to this day, people of African descent have had to resist colonization, theft, enslavement, lynching, mob violence, slander, mischaracterization, systematic oppression and more. Many of these attacks have come from philosophers, leaders, playwrights and great thinkers that have been held up to us as truth tellers; learned men we ought not contradict. As a result, Black History Month has long been a time where we attempt to show through achievements, our greatness. We have attempted to prove them wrong by offering evidence to the contrary. We have worked four times as hard and given in to assimilation in order to survive.
When actually our greatness as black people is inherent and unassailable.
From the origins of the River Nile, we gave birth to all. Our civilizations, resources and even our bodies were coveted the world over. Our culture, our swagger, our inventions, our music has generated trillions in revenue across the world. The revenue from the sale of our bodies and the fruit of our labor are the basis of all western economies.
While we have not won the war of freedom and justice, we have won innumerable, consequential battles. The most important battle that we can win in our resistance is that of self knowledge and love. Resist seeing yourself as less than. Resist self-hatred. Resist your own internalized bias against yourself and those who look like you. Resist giving up and resist giving in.
This Black History Month, let’s acknowledge the truth of our American history and journey while remembering and giving thanks for each and every way our forebears resisted that made it possible for our existence here today.
I am offering my Black History Month course free this month. See below.