Some excerpts from a Wayfinder staff Q&A for Black History Month.
What does being Black mean to you? My identity has been questioned throughout the years because I am mixed, but I identify myself as Black, and embrace this with my whole being. It is the utmost honor to have both struggle and resilience to tap into, as well as an other-worldly essence and overall strength.
As someone with lighter skin, I feel an even greater responsibility to hold space for other brothers and sisters of color and show that their voices are just as important. At the same time, I also emphasize that I am not a monolith and don’t represent every person’s ideas.
What does Black History mean to you? It dredges up a lot of feelings; I question everything I’ve been taught about American history. Every time I learn something new, it’s disheartening to learn about the disenfranchisement and disintegration of Black men and women that has—and continues to—negatively impact our community. I feel it’s my duty to get Black history right for both my ancestors and generations to come; to communicate what has been taken from us. Everyone in this country needs to have the facts, an accurate history, so that it does not continue to happen.
At the same time, there is so much beauty and radiance in Black history, that transcends the violence and horror. I think there is a way to teach our children accurately without negatively impacting them. So often when people try to talk about past injustices, it’s met with accusations of anti-patriotism. But to me, what I love about being American is that we are free to speak up, call it out and do better. Again, I love being an American, but I want us to do better. I loved seeing someone like Garth Brooks, a self-proclaimed Republican, at the inauguration because it shows that we can respectfully disagree.
February 11, 2022