People say leave the past behind, but when it comes to Black History Month, I don’t think that’s possible. Who we are rests in who our ancestors were, and the opportunities afforded to us exist primarily because of our roots-our history.
It’s like the saying goes, you can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve come from.
We wouldn’t know the magnitude of our greatness if the people who came before us didn’t leave behind their legacies for us to see that barriers only stop us if we allow them to. Our ancestors were some of the strongest, most courageous people to ever grace this earth.
They were shackled, chained and thrown on ships. They were beaten, raped, and told that they would never be more than someone else’s property, yet they kept dreaming for me, for us. It takes a true visionary and dreamer to see obstacles as opportunities to make a difference that will impact generations. That’s exactly what they did.
Every protest, boycott and fight was because they saw something in the distance that signified hope. They created history and changed our lives.
Their willingness to fight for us so that we would have a better future is something we should all be grateful for. They didn’t have to do it, but they did because they understood that we were not placed on this earth by accident. It was no coincidence.
To my fellow Rattlers and anyone who is reading this, remember that this month is not just about reflection.
It offers an opportunity for us as young African Americans to evaluate whether or not we are living up to not only our expectations, but also the expectations of our ancestors. As we celebrate them, let’s become the leaders we were meant to be.