Hello February & Happy Black History Month!
Throughout my entire childhood academic career, the focus on Black History Month was always my favorite. I loved learning about the bravery & power of the Civil Rights movement and key figures like Dr. King, Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass, etc and my heart ached when hearing of the atrocities that, I would later come to realize in adulthood, we are conditioned to believe took place in some faraway part of an almost inconceivable past.
Fast forward to something like five years ago when I began to be confronted with the fact that the "education" I'd received and enjoyed all those years ago was nothing more than a cursory retelling of half-truths, omissions, and flat-out lies; propaganda that did & continues to do an incredible disservice not only to the heroes of the movement, but to all of us, and ESPECIALLY and most importantly to those within the Black community.
It has been an arduous & heartwrenching journey to truth & the realities of this society in which we live. I have always loved & appreciated everyone precisely because of the wide breadth of differences & similarities we all share. And I am incredibly angry & saddened by the fact that there is a whole community of people whom I've had the great fortune of loving & sharing life with and yet I've been completely ignorant to the realities of not only their history (and that is to say OUR history) but that of their everyday existence...even now in 2023. Because the real truth is that all the things we "learned" aren't even that far in the past NOW, let alone back when they were taught to us. And between this phony "education" & the privilege that I've had in not only not experiencing the same things but also not witnessing them (either because they didn't happen around me or more likely I couldn't see it) how could it possibly be any different?
Well, now I know & the worldview I once had has shattered & continues to do so on a daily basis. And for this I am so grateful because it allows me to navigate life from a place of truth, it allows me to hold appropriate space for others from a place not of ignorance & idealism but rather from a place of understanding & a willingness to actually continue learning rather than desperately clinging to my own idealized view in order to quell my own discomfort. And beyond that my gratitude extends to the fact that in this space of realization and learning about the truths of actual Black History I've come to a place of connecting with and learning about my own history which ultimately does play a part in better understanding my Spiritual gifts and how they came to be, which is a conversation for another day.
None of us are truly free until we all are...I can't remember exactly when, where, or from whom I originally heard that sentiment, but I do know that it has been so profound and has stayed with me ever since. And it highlights another aspect of import to the accurate telling of Black history...the old adage is that history will always repeat itself and by and large I think we've all consciously experienced this to some degree or another within our own lives. To truly learn from and understand Black history is to better prepare yourself for so much of what is coming in the near future. Within this history is a model of not only the importance and exhaustive nature of fighting for our civil liberties but also how to do so while still thriving. And the reality is this: we need and should all be embracing that education.
Much like within the process of Spiritual Awakening, it's time to push through our discomforts when it comes to how we perceive race and challenging the ideas of the "creative" history we've all been taught. There has been so much that has been either omitted or altered and it affects our ability to show up for one another in true oneness and love. It impedes our ability to truly see someone for who they are as an individual. It diminishes our own ability to hold ourselves accountable, to actively listen, and to stop centering and prioritizing ourselves & our own discomfort over the very real experiences, expertise, and feelings of another. It enables this catastrophic idea of "otherness" and promotes division between us rather than appreciation for and celebration of all of us. And that will always be the holy grail of those select few who actively work to rob us of our many civil liberties. And then what will we have?
Resistance handicaps discernment. Impeded discernment creates a lack of awareness. Our souls' lack of awareness leads us to poor decision making & misplaced trust. Those poor decisions & that misplaced trust open the door for those who would seek to be advantageous. And that advantage taken will set the precedents that will ultimately serve as our downfall. And then what?
The stakes are high and the blueprint is right there.
We can know better! And when we know better, we must do better!
It is my hope that we will all commit to this–to truth & honoring what that truth really gives us–by continuing to reeducate ourselves not only this month but ALWAYS! There is so much to learn & to apply and when we do, we all will thrive!
In solidarity & love always,