February Topic: Black Banners
Black History Month, 2017 everybody! We are back in the saddle again, and I am so excited to spend this month celebrating my heritage, my ancestors, my music, movies, books, and etc. With everything that has been going on in the world lately, the time to be proud of your heritage is well overdue. I am excited for what God has for you and me this year!
This month, I want to focus on the continent of Africa. Africa is a continent that generally speaking, is where we all come from. Black, White, Latin, Asian, Indian or otherwise; Africa is the motherland. I have come to notice a pattern about the motherland. 19 countries out of 54 countries have black in their ﬂags. I wanted to know why, so in my research I found out that the color black stands for age and wisdom in most African countries. It is intriguing because the color black usually stands for death, mourning, evil, and darkness in western civilizations.
This made me think of how Black people have a long history of being oppressed because of the very color of their skin. It is almost as if the skin color was their own banner that waved in the wind announcing their presence to all who encountered them. It is rare to see the words Wisdom depicting the color black. The color black does not always have to mean something good or bad, but sometimes it can represent a burden or cross that you have to bear.
Some may refer to it as a dark period or season of your life. It is not always what you have to bear through life, but the attitude you put forth to counteract the negative. For example, my cousin who shall remain nameless; has Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy. According to medical professionals, my cousin was not supposed to live past 24 hours of her birth.
This was certainly a dark period for her parents but they took the “black” in their banner and became certiﬁed in infant CPR, endured many sleepless nights, specialist visits and over 20 painstaking surgeries a year. Though my cousin has always had a wheelchair to help her get around, she is thankfully, turning 23 years old this year and is doing exceptionally well. She’s in college, and has a personality that emits goodness, hope and positivity.
Her journey has not been without obvious challenges, disappointments and setbacks however; we have the same Black in our banner that says; “Anything worth doing is worth doing well”, so feeling sorry for yourself or quitting is just not an option. One would say that my cousin has a coal colored ‘stricken’ banner but she does not let it get her down. I think we’ve all had some form of a “black” banner, but you cannot let that run or ruin your life. No matter what kind of color your banner shows; your life is still just as beautiful. So wave your banner high and proud.
This month, we reﬂect on our own banners and remember our ancestors who waved their own Black banners and on whose shoulders we stand. Happy Black History Month!
Jam for the Month: Take Me Down by Gary Clarke Jr.
This song about hardships and burdens by indie-folk singer Gary Clark Jr., talks about taking a step back to go home and lean back on your history to propel you forward.
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