An Ode to Black History: “Remember that we are strong, that we have always been strong”

“Our crown has already been bought and paid for. All we have to do is wear it”

– James Baldwin

History is what we remember deeply in our hearts. It’s what we feel in our bones, it’s what our blood whispers to us. Listen faithfully to its teachings because it’s desperate to be heard. We are all part of history. Everything that happens leaves a mark in space, in time, in us. Black history is important because black people are important.

To my black brothers and sisters,

You have done well in this callous world. You are wounded but you are still standing. The things that agonise you are the things that connect you with others throughout history. Allow yourself to always see the beauty in things because the beautiful is always there. Never get used to the unspeakable injustice, oppression, and violence. Don’t lose your passionate spirit, you have too much soul to not be passionate. Trauma permanently changes you. It’s okay to be angry and it’s okay to be sad. You have every right to be. Grief is a part of healing. The grief of black people, the grief of silence, the historical grief. We need to give it a place in history. Continue to be brave in this struggle. Remember that we are strong, that we have always been strong. That we are destined to climb mountains and cross rivers. Don’t be afraid, even though the world is telling you to stay in the valleys that surround you. Build bridges and tear down the borders around you.

The future is not just waiting for us, it’s built by sorting through the past, it’s a continual work in progress that occurs through each individual’s innovative, imaginative, and conscious participation. Our art is about our identity and our creativity is political. Let’s continue to let our art comfort, empower, and enlighten others. Don’t sleep on it. Speak up. Let’s make history.

“What is this precious love and laughter budding in our hearts?

It is the glorious sound of a soul waking up! “ – Hafiz

This article is written by Aminata Ndow. 

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