This is a picture I drew in art class when I was in second grade (I think it was second grade). I honestly can remember if they are supposed to be ballerinas or angels... either way, my mom thought this was good enough to still have it hanging on a wall in her office today!
Upon first glance you might think "ok... it's just a picture a kid drew, what is the big deal?" Well, I can tell you, a Clinical Psychologist might see a WHOLE lot in this simple drawing.
Let me give you a brief background... When I went to Kindergarten I attended an all black Christian Academy. My skin was normal, my hair was normal, my family's financial state was normal, my religion was normal... when I did well in class, that too was normal...
The following year I went to first grade at a fairly large public school, in a very white suburban neighborhood, where most people were wealthy in my eyes. There were probably 3 black kids in every class. Now, everything that used to be completely normal became abnormal literally overnight.
The picture I drew is a perfect depiction of how I felt. You will notice there are two black angels/ballerinas... but they are in the back and faceless. The one white ballerina/angel is in the front, larger than everyone else, has a spotlight (or God's light) shinning on her, and her face is carefully drawn.
No matter how much my parents told me, "You is smart, You is Important (quote from The Help)" I felt small, unseen, and overshadowed.
There are so many black parents who have worked hard to provide a good life for their children. For some that means being able to send them to better schools and unfortunately this means in many cases... white schools. Schools where children will learn to either hate the skin they're in because it's different, or learn to fight to be treated fairly in it.
Black history month is important because there is no other time or place where we (by we I mean, the country as a whole) will be taught of the accomplishments and struggles of black people. It a time to actually celebrate being black when for so long we have had to "overcome" it.
Black people literally built the United States for free! So, to take 28, sometimes 29 days to acknowledge that, is... well... nice.
Happy Black History Month!!!!