Black History Is

As I travel back to my hotel in a cab along the streets of Budapest, the driver plays the sweet, sultry sounds of Jazz. I tap my fingers, nod my head and think to myself: “Black History Is” and begin to reflect on what Black History is to me:

Black History is Music. From blues to jazz, hip hop and gospel: it’s the kind of music that touches your soul and feeds your spirit. For decades we have and continue to find the right words to carry us over, get us through. To inspire and encourage, enlighten and explain the good times, the bad times and the in between times. Music is who we are. It’s what we do!

Black History is Food. From collard greens to fried chicken, macaroni cheese and corn bread – meal time brings about family gatherings and a time to share, often accompanied joy and sometimes pain. Oh yes, that’s our food! But our food is also kale and blueberries, Greek yogurt and lean meats. We post pictures of our healthy meals and share stories of our adventures in juicing. We put our health first by sacrificing our hairstyles to make sure we get in time at the gym. We’ve come along way!

Black History is Community. We help each other, we don’t take advantage of one another. We learn from each other, walk with each other and guide each other. Our Brothas are Leading the New School are pressing forward, holding down jobs and sometimes more than one! Our ancestors knew how to stick together and in 2014 we find ways to stick together, too (in spite of)! We find new solutions and ways to compromise or sometimes we agree to disagree. Whichever is our reality at any given moment we always have our community: some small, some large, some that include core family, extended family and most include friends (play cousins) LOL

Black History is Education. We educate ourselves and our children. We get degrees and advance degrees to advance our careers or we practice trades. We Lean In. We attend conferences, seminars and read books (YES, we should read more!). We learn new things, we ADAPT, we spread knowledge and truth! #readanything

Black History is Equality. For we truly know that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere (MLK, Jr.) We welcome people of other races, gender, sexuality and creed without sacrificing our faith. We volunteer in our sororities and fraternities, walk for causes, go to shelters and mentor young girls and boys all in an attempt to give someone else a chance to succeed or maybe to help them take the first step toward something we may have never had.

Yes indeed! “Black History Is” all those things and more! Yet, we have such a long way to go. AMERICAN history is a reflection of tribulation after tribulation, followed by triumph after triumph. It is one of constant struggle and sometimes even defeat. Yet, we continue pressing on, moving forward hoping, praying and believing that the things that lie ahead will be better than the former. Each and every day we all play a role in making Black History Is (present tense). Let’s continue to carry the torch and pave the way, a way that our children and grandchildren would be proud of!