A common misconception held about Black History Month is that it is for black people. The black community is reminded of our history every day we are alive. The weight of what happened to our ancestors and continues to happen in our community is not lost on us. It’s a reality we live and experience in all aspects of our lives. The people that need Black History Month are not Black people; but more importantly it is for every person who is not black. Black History Month should simultaneously shed light on the struggles faced by my lineage- past and present- while also celebrating how, in despite of all that has occurred, we continue to thrive. Blackness can be interpreted in a multitude of ways, as it should be. This is what Blackness means to me. My blackness is empowering; it has forced me through situations I never knew I was equipped to handle. My blackness is influential; my culture, my style, my substance and my creativity is rooted in my ancestry and is used to inspire. My blackness is intimidating; I carry it everywhere I go and because of that I ensure that I represent it well. My blackness is my essence; it is a part of my identity and shaped me into the woman I am so proud of becoming. My blackness, simply put, is tremendously everything to me. Everyone goes through different self-journey’s, and I was just lucky enough to be so far along on mine. I like to use my passion and knowledge of black history and issues as an outlet to educate others on these issues.
With that being said, I am thankful to be a part of an organization that allows me to be as true to myself as possible. With the diversity of my sisterhood there has been a cultivation of new and strengthened appreciation for different cultures. I have found women that are like-minded and act as a support system in such a racially divided time. Controversy, scandals, and bigotry occur on a daily basis however, with the large amounts of encouragement and love I receive from my sisters it all seems so small. As black history for 2019 ends, it is with great reflexivity that I write about my experiences. My experiences as a black woman in Greek life, and as my experiences as a black woman in general. I am sure to be cognizant of my place of privilege. I come from a place of privilege to be writing this in the safety of my home, on my MacBook, and as I attend an institution in which not everyone can afford to attend. With that being said, I am also overtly aware of the overwhelming lack of privilege that I also hold. Black History month has always acted as a time of reflection for me. As a black community, we have advanced so far through arts, academics, business, activism and politics. I strongly believe that Black History Month is one of the many ways that black issues are spotlighted, but acknowledgement should not begin and end in February. I encourage all who read this, black or otherwise, to advocate for better treatment and understanding towards the black community and black issues. Above all I ask you all to choose education over ignorance, awareness over blindness, courage over cowardliness, and love over hate.