My parents didn’t have much. They were just teenagers when they had my sister and me.
Yet, they gave me something valuable. They taught me to love myself and reinforced my self-worth in a culture that insisted that I was nothing, dirty, and worthless.
They exposed me to the power, the brilliance, and the beauty of Black people. They made sure that I knew that Black people were not just slaves. And most of all, my Dad made sure that I knew that history books strategically omitted the truth of Black contributions to perpetuate the myth of white supremacy.
I am so grateful to my parents. Because even when White teachers told me that I was dumb and even when white kids bullied and degraded me, there was a sweet knowing in my soul that I was royalty.
That sweet knowing gave me the power to endure adversity. I was kicked in the back, spat on in the face, hit in the head, pushed down steps, punched in the stomach, and consistently called nigger by my classmates…..all before I entered the 3rd grade.
I was wounded, but praise God, my wounds didn’t win. Praise God that my parents gave me the ammunition to neutralize and challenge the lies that tried to confine me to a life of mediocrity, misery, and marginalization. Praise God for the Black Churches who taught scripture and Black History side by side so that Black children would know that we had a place in God’s Kindom ( not kingdom…patriarchy has no place in my life).
Happy Black History Month!
And during this precious, but short month, I pray that all people will take the time to learn and know the truth about the wealth, brilliance, diversity, and love found in the lives of Black people.