Black History Month in 2021 hits differently. In the midst of a pandemic affecting Black people disproportionately, off the heels of this past summer’s civil rights movement, and with white supremacy conversations finally being had in mainstream America it seems like everyone everywhere is reacting to it all.
And sure, I understand why everyone is reacting, but we need action to follow. To not have any action at this point or understanding is not an option.
Somehow, many people were blind to the atrocious suffering of Black people in America. So many people were ignorant to the statistics and systematic racism that many of us have seen or experienced first hand. There was no excuse for fostering oppression before, but now the zeitgeist of American culture has seemingly caught up with it and thankfully our younger generations are becoming the majority.
As we welcome Black History Month, our biggest task is that despite race or gender you do not act out of reaction but pure love and appreciation for Black people and culture.
Growing Up With Injustice, Racism, and Beautiful Black Culture
Our family is from the deep south. We’re talking south Louisiana, the heart of cancer alley, and a place that knows racism and white supremacy all too well. We saw the injustice Black people face every day growing up in the deep south living alongside Black communities.
So while many people are just waking up to the deep-seated racism that lives in America, experiencing it is something that gives you a completely different perspective.
The other side of our experience growing up in the south is that we also got the privilege to know, feel, and explore Black culture. So much of our history and culture in Louisiana from food to music exists because of brilliant Black men and women.
Our experience truly built an overwhelming love for Black people and an empathy for understanding their experience in America.
Black History Month 2021: The Black Family, Representation, Inclusion, and Diversity
Ya’ll know education and history are two of our love languages, let’s get into it.
The theme of Black History Month 2021 is The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity, chosen by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.
The month and timing of Black History Month are significant and intentional. The Father of Black History, Carter G. Woodson, “chose the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass, a famed abolitionist who escaped from slavery, and President Abraham Lincoln, who formally abolished slavery," shares writer N’dea Yancy Bragg.
N'dea goes on to say, "he recognized that the American education system offered very little information about the accomplishments of African Americans and founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, now called the Association for the Study of African American Life and History."
Woodson believed it was essential for young African Americans to understand and be proud of their heritage.
We like to think that it’s essential for ALL Americans to understand Black heritage.
If you’ve never celebrated Black History Month, N’dea Yancy Bragg shares basic and historical information on who created Black history month, why it was created, and how to celebrate in her recent USA Today article.
Our Call To Action, Act Out of Love and Empathy
It is our greatest hope at Kush Queen, that the world would act not from a place of reaction, but of deep love for Black people.
The truth is that when you educate yourself beyond our white supremacist revisionist history on the brilliance of Black people past and present you can see so much of our culture is from Black people.
We can never understand the struggle of being Black in America, and we must dismantle white supremacy and protect Black lives because it is the right thing to do.
If you can step outside your comfort zone, dive deep into Black history, know real Black people, and educate yourself on the truth of their experience you too will find that big love to drive you to want to change the world for Black people.
Join us for Black History month as we highlight our team, creators, and activists that will take us on a journey of love, understanding, and action!
We will be hosting weekly Instagram Live’s, posting educational and action-oriented blogs. Follow @kushqueenshop on Instagram!