Black History Month In Our Home

Black History Month In Our Home

Black History Month is a big month for me for a few obvious reasons, and a few not so obvious ones.  For one, I'm a firm believer that in knowing where you are from, you'll have a better idea of where you're heading. Of course there are some things I will never truly know about my direct lineage. My ability to trace my family history ends with my great-grandmother, (whom I'm lucky enough to still have in my life).

Still, this doesn't mean that I can't tap into my inner Holmes and try to connect a few dots myself. For instance, recently I was able to locate an African American newspaper that was established in the early 1900's in the town my grandmother lived in as a child.  I won't go into details concerning my family's history. We're all mature enough to understand the implications of having been an African American during those times. To sum it up, it's sad.

Although  own personal family history is something I may never fully know, the history of my people as a whole is something I can definitely learn and pass on to my own daughter. Growing up all over the world has given me an interesting perspective on how Black history is taught throughout various schools. In some schools, it is only briefly mentioned, and then quickly shoved aside, like that one Uncle that always makes inappropriate jokes. In others, it is studied quite extensively.

I understand it can be an uncomfortable topic for many. I suppose in some ways people expect that  simply mentioning slavery will cause anger and shame. I don't blame people today for what happened then, just as you shouldn't feel shame for what beliefs your ancestors may have held more than 100 years ago. I will, however, place blame if those same beliefs continue to poison the minds of today and the history of the generations before us is blatantly ignored because people feel that it does not apply to them. That is not just a problem, it is THE problem. As the saying goes, those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.

I also know there are a lot of black people who aren't exactly fond of celebrating black history month, and I understand the hesitation. We shouldn't be relegated to just one month; it should be something that we take pride in and celebrate daily. Who knows where we would be today if not for those amazing, self-less leaders and entrepreneurs? The way I see it, they fought for us, now it's time for us to fight for them and keep their memories, their dreams, their beliefs alive. If I have to fight tooth and nail for one month for that recognition, then I will continue to do so until people understand that Black history is a part of American history and begin to incorporate that into our schools.

In the end we're all fighting for the same thing, respect, understanding and an acknowledgement of the great leaders that paved the way for us. So this month, I'm not waiting for you guys to celebrate it on your own; no I'm bringing the celebration to you. I've set aside a few goals and activities this month that I'd like to share with you. I encourage you all to take a bit of time out this month to come up with a few activities on your own that you'd like to participate in with your families.

For the month of February I'd like to... 

  • Share at least two posts with you guys about two influential African Americans that have contributed greatly to this beautiful country and yet we don't hear much about.
  • Read The Blacker the Berry
  • Watch Roots (again, it's been a while)
  • Listen to the full I Have a Dream speech, and read it to Jasmine.
  • Buy a few children's books about Black History to read to Jasmine.
  • Cook at least one classic African dish

As the month progresses, I'm sure I'll find other ways to get involved. I encourage you all to do the same. Black History Month should not be celebrated exclusively by African Americans. Don't let the fact that you feel uncomfortable dissuade you from learning more about this beautiful country and the men and women who have paved the way for ALL of us. I'm hopeful that in my lifetime I will be able to witness, not a celebration of Black history, but a celebration of a completed American History.

"We should emphasize not Negro History, but the Negro in history. What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice." --Carter Woodson
Happy History Month  
XOXO Reese

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  1. This is a wonderful post. I really admire the was that you're planning to celebrate this month! I think I'd like to do a few of those things too. :)

  2. Hey Reese! Great post! Have you read Uncle Toms Cabin? I am reading it now and it's fascinating because its really political in a backhanded way when you think if the attitudes at the time it was written, Abraham Lincoln credited Harriet Beecher Stowe with starting the civil war... He said to her "So you're the little lady who started this Great War?" Its diff for me bc I descended from poor Irish folks and but understanding our history and learning from it is so important...sounds like you'll be having a busy month and rearing sir good traditions for your daughter :)

    1. I sure have read that! I read it in my American History course my first semester of college. I actually remember the quote by Lincoln as well. Let me know what you think when you're finished. I know it's quite a lengthy read, but definitely worth it!!!

      Last year we put such an emphasis on her Korean heritage, that this year I want to be as proactive with her African American heritage. I'm not sure if you were a reader back when we celebrated her 1st Birthday, but we actually incorporated a traditional Korean 1st birthday celebration into her party. Here's the link if you're interested

      I think when we have such a mixed family it's important to make sure every aspect of that history is included. I very much love the fact that even though you're a descendant of Irish people you're still making it a point to learn a bit more about another ethnic population. That says quite a bit about your character. `

      Like I said, when you're done, be sure to shoot me an email and let me know what you thought of it. I'm interested to see your perspective.

      Thanks for the comment!



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