I’ll start with the apology. One month ago, I made a commitment to share information on my Facebook page about a Black change maker each day in February in honor of Black History month. Like so many other things in my life, I started strong and made sure to highlight a new person or resource every day. As February went on, life started happening as it often tends to do, and I started making allowances while still fulfilling my commitment. An example of this was the few days following receiving the COVID vaccine, I felt weak, achy, and tired; so instead of posting something original, I shared posts from other accounts. I’m not apologizing for that – the information was still valuable. Then Texas was hit with a monumental snowstorm (relatively speaking for Texas), and our power grid was exposed as garbage. While I was fortunate enough to not lost power, thereby making keeping up with my commitment possible; I suffered mentally and emotionally (and I really can’t even explain why) and withdrew from any and all social interactions: especially online. When we got past what could have been a much larger catastrophe, but shouldn’t have been a catastrophe in the first place, I tried to get back on track; telling myself that I would feature as many people as days I had missed and go forward from there, only I didn’t. I did pick back up with sharing about historic and current Black change makers daily for a few more days, and was hopeful that I would honor my commitment, and have a total of 28 people honored by the end of the month. Only I didn’t. My last post was on February 23 when I reflected on the murder of Ahmaud Arbery on that day one year ago.
I think there are a few responses to this. There’s the “February was a rough month – you did the best you can” response, or the “don’t be so hard on yourself – no one really reads this blog anyway” response. But to be honest, it’s not any phantom reader that I am really apologizing to. In a sense, I am apologizing to myself. I made a commitment that the only person holding me accountable for is me, and I failed to honor that commitment. Again. Self care practices suggest that you treat yourself as you would treat another person, and that includes honoring commitments. I am known for being reliable to other people and following through with things I agree to do, but when it comes to following through with things that require internal accountability – forget it. And so, I am sorry, self, for not honoring this commitment to you (me?), and I will work harder to do better next time.
I am also apologizing to any member of the Black community that does read my blog because Black History Month matters. It’s important for poeple of all races to acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices that have been made by people of color not only throughout history, but currently as well. It’s vital that we look back through the our history through a lens of diverse of experiences, and not just the whitewashed version that we have generally been exposed to.
As a farewell to February, I am listing all the resources that I did post about throughout the month as well as links to learn more. Today is the first of March, but let’s not stop honoring Black voices. Life is a cumulative test and it’s not enough to forget the content because the unit is finished. Listen to diverse voices, invest in Black-owned businesses, read authors outside your realm of experience, watch movies that feature customs and cultures that aren’t yours, and most importantly, believe the experiences these diverse voices tell you about. Resist the urge to pushback, argue, gaslight, or defend. If the conversation makes you uncomfortable, embrace it – it’s a sign of growth.
*Resources I posted about throughout February (a microscopic sample of amazing Black change makers)*
Austin Channing Brown
Vivien T. Thomas
Black Lives Matter
Luvvie Ajayi Jones
Ibram X. Kendi
Nannie Helen Burroughs