My very good friend Natasha and I are doing a 4-part blog series on black love. Below is the introduction, written by Natasha Shorts (@NotedByNatasha).
Today we begin black history month. For many of our readers, this may not even be a time that has been celebrated, thought of, or even acknowledged before. But for two black girls from the inner city, one from Cleveland, Ohio, the other from South Central LA, California, this month is our time to recognize the nuances of our culture. From the depravity of slavery and the horrors of our continued systemic racial tensions that are ignored and unnoticed. To the hopeful pilgrims who pushed through their circumstances to become great and to our ever-changing future, this month is our time to officially shine.
This month brings up fond memories for me going to Forest Hill Parkway Academy kindergarten through eighth grade. Every February our school spent the ENTIRE month planning, prepping, learning, and preparing for our Black History Month celebration which would last for a week. The classes were decorated with famous black actors, scientists, journalists, you name it. Kente cloth was displayed around the school reminding us that this without time, our month. Our music teacher made sure to that we learned all the negro spirituals she could find during February. When we finally had our big assembly it lasted for days! We would sing the Black National Anthem each day, We Shall Overcome. It’s a beautiful Christian hymn that brought God’s presence and the past struggles into one place. Our black teachers would dress in African garb and teach us African dances (not always during the same time though). Though our school was K-8th grade they made sure that every class performed whether it was a speech, a short play, something. It was a momentous occasion every February that I miss dearly.
We hope that by reading this blog for the next four weeks and sharing it, you will be inspired to seek out the beauty of black people, the uniqueness of our culture, and desire to honor it in whatever way is best this month. With that being said we wanted to highlight a beautiful movement that has begun to spark so much joy in the black community: black love.
We hope that by writing this blog series black people feel the freedom to embrace and fall in love with the black love movement by understanding our powerful and painful history.
We hope people outside of the black community gain an understanding of how the depth of pain from our past has affected our present. As well as the beauty of black love and why we all NEED to celebrate the power of black love.
We hope all people understand the power of black men and black women individually. As well as how this power combined can be a beautiful transfer of generational strength and how it has affected our communities without that transfer.
Happy Black History Month!
From Natasha Shorts and Gabrielle Clark
Read more insightful and authentic blog post by Natasha on her site by clicking here.