In the United States of America and Canada, Black History Month is celebrated every year in February. In the United Kingdom it’s in October while in places like Brazil that has the largest population of black people in the world, it’s observed on November 20th. There, it’s called Black Awareness Day. Therefore, while we can say that Black History Month should be year round and I agree, we should also keep in mind that other places in the world with more Blacks don’t have that privilege.
If we want it to be year round, we shouldn’t wait for it to be official. We should just honor the Blacks that deserve to be cheered on our own with regular blog posts, articles, videos, you name it. Let’s be their cheerleader on any platform that will get them known to those that have no idea of their existence. It could be a reminder to those who have forgotten. Repetition is pedagogic. Even Islam vouches for the fact human nature is often forgetful.
So check out the blend of new people that anchor Black History forward.
Imani is a convert to Islam who is prominent in the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM). She is also the founder of Equality for HER (Health Education Rights); a non-profit organization she created in 2014 that seek to raise awareness on a wide range of issues femmes (women) face. Imani Blair was arrested during the protests following the death of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with other 50 plus protesters in July 2016. An Alumni of Louisiana State University, she is also a Muslim community activist.
Co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, Cullors is also an African American activist. She also stands against discrimination of all kinds as a queer, a woman, and a black person. She has received several awards for her work including the 2015 NAACP History Maker.
Tometi is also a Black Lives Matter movement co-founder. Of Nigerian descent, Opal Tometi is an American writer who lives in New York. She also strongly advocates for immigrants’ rights with Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI). The feminist is also involved in several other African and Pan Africanism organizations. In 2015, she was named New Civil Rights Leader by the LA Times.
Mckesson is a leader in the BLM movement as well. His symbol is a blue Patagonia vest he wears all the time to keep warm. Inadvertently, the vest became the mark by which people recognize the activist. He was also arrested during the Alton Sterling protest in July 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Deray Mckesson is a key player in the formation of Campaign Zero and the project MappingPoliceViolence.com .
Part of the queer trio that founded the BLM movement when the killer of Trayvon Martin was set free and the teenager was put on trial for his own murder while being already dead, Garza is Mexican-African American and a writer. She lives in Oakland, California. Some of her awards include the Root 100 2015 list of African American achievers and influencers between the ages of 25 and 45. She was also highlighted in the Politico50 guide to the thinkers, doers and visionaries transforming American politics in 2015.
Grayson is an African American writer and educator that advocates against anti-black racism, Muslim profiling, and discrimination as a whole. She also pens books that highlight the realities on the field. She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
There are tons of Blacks that deserved to be featured during Black History Month but with not enough time to so. So which ones are you going to honor and put on the spotlight year round?