As the end of February quickly approaches, a few things linger in my mind in regards to Black History. Black, or African American History is so essential in today’s society. It’s furthermore necessary for our growth, as a culture. Biggest reason being because if we don’t know who we are, where we are, how we got there, it’s going to be extremely hard to progress, collectively. Recognizing Black Excellence has become more of a priority in the media and even in national/local publications. And for that, I, personally, get excited.
Growing up, Black History wasn’t a big deal where I came from. Going to school in a suburban setting, Black history was barely touched upon. We still had to attend school on Dr. Martin Luther King Day. My mother however felt differently allowing us to stay home to observe this day. The curriculum on black history in school was short and brief. So why is black history so important?
Black history month is the perfect time for the younger generation to listen and learn from their elders. They can listen to the misunderstandings and daily dilemmas our people faced actually not that long ago. Kids today see the negative behaviors of their communities splashed across the media all too frequently, but never the positive strides that are happening. Black History Month should be viewed as an opportunity to spotlight or showcase the best of African American history and culture— or what we now call Black Excellence.
Black Excellence is more than a hashtag. It’s 17 year-old Mekhi Johnson who was accepted into all 8 Ivy League Schools. It’s Milwaukee’s own, Lindsay Peoples-Wagner, the youngest Editor-in-Chief for Teen Vogue. Or how about Marsai Martin, the 14 year old actress turned Executive Producer who’s film is set to be released this Spring. Black excellence is me and every other black person working toward the advancements of our people.
Black history month is a reminder to continuously work toward goals, dreams, and aspirations that we were told we would never accomplish. Although, if we’re being honest, Black History is more than the shortest day of the year. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and so many more have fought for us and made Black History. And today Black History is being written over and over again.
As Millennials, it’s our job to keep Black History alive. And it’s also our job to dig beyond the surface level of it that’s taught in school. Learning more about our history teaches us about ourselves. It can help us find out exactly who we are. Our excellence has always been downplayed. Therefore, it’s only right that our excellence shines bright any month of the year.