Importance of Black History Month
by Hillary Tijerina·
I want to start this off by saying, my own personal work is not done. That I am constantly learning and unlearning. But as Brene Brown says, “I’m here to get it right, not be right.”
Every February, Black History Month is a focus in my home. Four years ago, my husband and I had the greatest honor to grow our family and bring home our little baby girl through adoption. She is Afro-Latina.
Black History Month is a monumental time to reflect. It isn’t simply a moment to celebrate artists and creators—though that certainly is a part of it—but a sacred season to listen to the stories and experiences shared about what it means to be Black in America, the good, bad and ugly. If we don’t hear the stories of suppression, we can’t create a better world full of Black futures. The work of learning the past is the path to building a new and better future.
Black History Month needs to be approached with intent. It is time to evaluate and recognize all the work that needs to be done. If we are honest, even that statement is made from a place of privilege. If you are Black in America, you feel the work that needs to be done every day. It isn’t something that one month a year even begins to capture. So this is a reminder to the majority culture that a lifetime of work is ahead of us, and it starts with listening.
We have shared some resources and will continue to share but these resources are by no means exhaustive—this is not a one and done or read and learn for one month and then move on. This is lifelong learning.
We need to learn and unlearn. Unlearning IS learning. We aren’t moving backward by unlearning, we are moving forwards. No one has “arrived” and no one gets a pass this is a lifelong process. You have to do your own work! It is not the responsibility of the Black community to explain or teach you. So pick up a book, listen to a podcast, watch a documentary, support local Black artists. There are endless ways that we can press into and honor Black History Month. I hope you join me.