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Why Black History?

My 6 year old grandson came home the other day announcing he wanted to go to Europe. They are studying continents in his public elementary school.   As with other subjects whiteness and European history are centered and other cultures, histories, and contributions in the scope of human history are not.  This is not the first time my precious grandson has expressed his preference for whiteness, based on the education he is receiving in school, in the media, and in society. It saddens me every time. When he said it I said, “well you love animals and a safari in Africa is pretty cool too.” You know G-Ma has been to 5 of the 7 continents and I liked Africa and Asia the most, and let me tell you why. By the time we were finished with all of the options across the globe he chose the safari. 

Black History month 2024 is a reminder of the vigilance it takes to support self-love and the socio-emotional development of our children’s spirit. Black history is American history. The history of Black people has made America more democratic. For we have always challenged America to live up to her ideas. We hold these truths to be self evident... A democracy now under assault. Black history helps all children see and value diversity. Helping all children interact and become successful in the diverse world in which they live.

In our current climate of silencing the truth; the truth that everything we see in humankind's evolution started from Black people, Black kingdoms, Black ingenuity and genius. Black history did not start with a kidnapping. Another, that no amount of intimidation will make us disappear. That’s already been tried and still we rise.

It does takes courage to stand up and say no to white supremacy. The threats, the legislation, the divisive rhetoric. It takes listening, love and coaching to protect our children from a system rigged to instill self-hate.  

I do feel for teachers having to navigate celebrating Black History and worrying about running afoul of irrational, mostly white men, filing lawsuits, making policies and laws to punish truth tellers and truth telling.  A blatant attempt to take us backwards as a society to the days when Black people had no rights and women had no voice.

In the words of Stokely Carmichael, advocate for social justice in the face of torturous consequences, organizer, SNCC chairman, and coiner of the term Black Power ”, Hell No We Won’t Go. We are not going back. We own our power. Our Black Power which Stokely Carmichael so courageously said upon his release from a jail in Greenwood Mississippi for his participation in the March Against Fear. 

Today, as Black parents and aunties, grandparents, and other beloved community members we must stay involved, stay affirming, and stay drilling into our babies their heritage, their lineage, their Black Power.  #blackhistory365 #blackhistory2024 #blackvoices #blackpower 

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