February is Black History Month in Canada and in the US. Throughout the month of February, the history and accomplishments of people of Black African descent are celebrated by the government and other institutions – private and public alike.
As for me – a Black woman who was born and raised in Nigeria, Black History celebration is everyday. I celebrate this skin that I am in and I am inspired by Black pioneers (of which there are so many), pretty much daily.
I find Black History Month to be educative and engaging. I definitely think it is an important national event. It is important for a diverse array of people of different races to partake this month, in the events that relate to Black History celebration, but please, let the joy and wokeness also be extended beyond Black History Month. Black people must be valued beyond Black History Month.
This Black history Month, I would like to express my inner gratitude to all the Black people who came before people like myself – who immigrated to North America in modern times. I am grateful to those who where in North America when it was morally acceptable for hate towards Black People to be overt. They struggled till it was systemically unacceptable to be racist towards Black people. If they did not struggle, march, say no to certain commands in the face of danger, if they did not break down barriers to become successful professionals – the waters would not be calm for those of us Black people that now immigrate to North America to pursue a better life.
I honour the legacy of the Africans who were taken from their own land, to be enslaved in another. I honour the legacy of the Africans who were colonized in their own nations. I honour the legacy of African Nova Scotians and other Black Canadians alike – who can trace their time in Canada, to centuries back. Such legacies remind us that the African ancestors where a people of resilience, and that resilience and excellence make up the Black DNA. This Black History Month, I am extremely thankful for the ancestors. Black History is a rich history of diverse people, united by a common colour, and a common thread of – excellence and resilience.
Happy Black History Month! Stay Black and proud, my friends. May the strength, wisdom and excellence of the ancestors be our portion, always.