It’s Black History Month. This year, it has a heavier symbolism to me, both because of the current political hell storm and because of the growth that has been occurring with me personally.
I would hope that there has always been some sense of pride within myself of being a black woman; I don’t remember ever hating that reality and I do hope that was never the case. However, it’s only within the last couple of years that I’ve developed a real and true appreciation and love for us.
Within the last year, as I decided to keep abreast of politics (out of a need to know what awful decisions were being made on a daily basis so that I was always informed), I also dove further into activism. Most of my Twitter timeline consists of activists, journalists, and allies who are fighting for the immigrant and black communities. As I’ve entrenched myself in that, I have really started to discover my pride and appreciation for my place as a black, female immigrant.
Despite the constant attacks on the communities that I consider myself apart of, and the truly dark and disheartening feelings that can descend as a result, I’m also always reminded of how resilient and powerful we are.
Women are powerful. Immigrants are powerful. Black immigrants are powerful. Black women are powerful. Our ancestors went through hell–they walked straight through it, raising their voices as loud as they could and doing whatever they could to protect each other from the fire.
As awful as things can be nowadays, we are now in an infinitely better position than many of them were back then. Yes, we’re attacked when we speak out even now. However, there are a plethora of journalists, authors, activists, public speakers, lawmakers, and other influencers who are black, female, immigrants, or a fantastic combination of those identities. There can always be more representation, and more voices are always welcome on the stage. But it’s important to remember that we have so much beauty and power and possibility within us. Let Black History Month remind you of that, and then take it with you through the rest of this year and the rest of our lives.
The powers against us can cause damage. Unfortunately, there’s no contesting that. But they’ll never defeat us. We have strength inside us that has been planted there by the architects of change from past generations, and the would-be oppressors will never get their hands on that.
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Bradleigh is a co-founder and content curator for The Sirens Rise with a BA in Media Studies. Her favorite things to do are listen to music, get lost in a book, write for hours, and eat way more chocolate than one human being ever should.