By Coshandra Dillard
Black History Month winds down and I’m not done celebrating us. Let us not forget that black people continue to make history everyday, whether in the arts and sciences or in boardrooms. We also can’t forget that black history IS American history.
Where would we be without the resilience and ingenuity of radical civil rights advocates like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Angela Davis, or the courage of folks like Ida B. Wells and Robert Smalls?
What kind of culture would we have without the rhythms and rhymes that created rock and roll, blues and jazz? How would we function without the brilliance and inventions born out of necessity by former slaves and the descendants of slaves?
With advances in technology and access to information, we’re becoming more aware of the ways in which black people contribute to the world, and the ways in which black people have — and continue to — overcome challenges.
There is no longer an excuse to not know where we come from and how our history impacts us today. If it’s not in the history books, or if it’s revised or whitewashed, we have to find the truth ourselves — and then teach the children.
I encourage everyone to research black history, starting with your own family. Pay attention to the elders, learn from them and then pass on — and add to — their wisdom. Hold on to valuable family heirlooms, and record important milestones. Embrace our roots, support each other, and continue to thrive.
We come from a great people. We should be proud of that, and celebrate that blackness always— 365 days of the year.