In February, we celebrate Black History Month!
Originally a week created by historian, Carter G. Woodson in February of 1926, the purpose was to acknowledge people of the African diaspora. In America, it has changed from a week to an entire month in February. From 1970 to now, Black History Month is recognized in various countries around the world to honor Black history makers, past and present, who have mostly persevered to overcome insurmountable odds.
As a Black American, I recognize Black history 365 days of the year. I celebrate the richness of my heritage that originated in Africa, a continent rich with tradition, culture, food, land, and precious minerals. Growing up, I learned to have an appreciation for the significant impact my people have had historically in America and around the world.
I remember learning about Crispus Attucks, a former slave, considered one of the first American Patriots, and Harriett Tubman, an abolitionist and political activist. I even learned about George Washington Carver, founder of Tuskegee University, also a noted inventor and agricultural scientist. Then there was Madam CJ Walker, the entrepreneur, philanthropist, social and political activist; the great pastor and civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who will never be forgotten; and Shirley Chisholm, a politician, educator and author who became the first black woman elected to the United States Congress.
I remember how Barack Obama made history as America’s first African-American President. My most precious memory is of the day he won and being present at the inauguration, which is still one of my fondest life experiences. Of course I can’t forget about Michelle Obama. Aside from being one of the most revered 1st ladies, now has New York Times best selling author to her credit. Then I think of Tyler Perry who is a celebrated actor-director-writer-producer, is the first to have full ownership of a film studio without any partners or corporate backing. Of course I have to mention Beyonce Knowles-Carter the singer, songwriter, record producer, actress turned co-founder of Ivy Park clothing line who launched a collaboration with Adidas, Ivy Park X Adidas, and made national news when the website sold out just hours later.
I take great pride in my heritage and my people, especially those who have such an incredible influence. We have overcome unquestionable odds and continue to make immeasurable impact. Everyday, I give thanks to my ancestors and those who have paved the way for me. I constantly seek to do my part by encouraging positive change that the next generations can benefit from. I challenge you to take time to learn about local, regional and national black history makers past and present because...Black History Month is everyday.