Black History Month 2023: A Time for Recognition and Empowerment
Every February, we celebrate Black History Month, a time dedicated to remembering and honoring the contributions and achievements of Black people throughout history. While this month serves as an important reminder of our rich cultural heritage, it is also a time to reflect on the ongoing struggle for equity and equality. As we enter the year 2023, it is crucial to remember that being Black is not just a history, but a lived experience and that our contributions to society should be recognized and valued every day of the year.
Throughout history, Black people have made immeasurable contributions to the world, from arts and literature, to science, technology, and beyond. From the pioneering work of Katherine Johnson and Mary Jackson in mathematics and engineering to the musical genius of Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone, and Prince, Black people have shaped civilization and left a lasting impact on the world. In medicine, Dr. Charles Drew, who revolutionized blood transfusions, and Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler, who was the first African American woman to receive a medical degree, paved the way for future generations of Black medical professionals.
However, despite our numerous achievements, Black people continue to face systemic barriers that limit our access to resources, opportunities, and recognition. In many industries, including tech, finance, and media, Black people remain underrepresented, and too often, our contributions are overlooked, tokenized, and even stolen. Therefore, it is imperative that we demand equity and equality, and create safe spaces where Black people can thrive in all fields.
As we celebrate Black History Month, it is important to remember that our work is not finished. We must continue to fight for representation, recognition, and respect, and work towards a future where Black people are valued for our contributions to society every day.
Just some of the amazing individuals I mentioned but, there are more tracing back hundreds of years.
Katherine Johnson, NASA mathematician
Mary Jackson, NASA mathematician, and engineer
Louis Armstrong, Jazz Musician
Nina Simone, Jazz singer-songwriter and pianist
Prince, a Pop icon
Dr. Charles Drew, Pioneer in blood transfusions
Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler, the first African American woman to receive a medical degree
In conclusion, Black History Month is a time to celebrate and recognize the contributions and achievements of Black people throughout history. Our work is not done and we must continue to move toward equity, equality, and respect. Remember our History, Black History, American History, and World History did not start here in America. It started across the waters in areas where black people thrived with ease. As a Veteran, and Nigerian American and what I have experienced, I feel the isms (racism, classism, colorism, ageism, etc.) have been a sickness in this world. It puts people in a box and, as a society; we have grown, or have we? We must change more policies, institutions, and systems that we have lived with for so many years. For instance, the constitution needs an all-around makeover. We have to do better. Don't just make Black history a social media post but, make black history every day. We are black history. Every day we wake up and live and push toward finding a space where we can all thrive without biases, bigotry, and isms. Let us use this month as a catalyst for change and continue to celebrate Black History every day! Be well my friends and I have hope one day it will be better.