5 Ways You Can Help Celebrate Black History Month

5 Ways You Can Help Celebrate Black History Month

Happy Black History Month, y'all!

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As the month of February has blessed us with its presence, not only is it the month of love, it is also the month of blackness. Although Black History Month for 28 days is not enough to change the narrative of a White America, it launches us into a realm of awareness. There is no right way to celebrate Black History Month and there is no wrong way to celebrate Black History Month. However, in a time of so much division, this month and every month is important to acknowledge the strides of Black Americans that helped lay the foundation.

And Black History Month is not just for Black people, so here are five ways we can all celebrate this wonderful time of the year:

1. Go and attend Black History Month events

This is a perfect way to get yourself into spaces where learning can occur.

2. Read its history

Educate yourself. The only way to combat ignorance is through knowledge.

3. Watch movies or documentaries

"Black Panther" and "Get Out" are not the only movies you can watch to help celebrate. Try and find movies and or documentaries that support the Black experience. Venture out and find movies/documentaries that are overlooked.

4. Listen

Get in conversations. Listen to those who provide enriching experiences. You don't have to listen to respond, simply listen to understand.

5. MUSIC

Black people MADE music the way that is is now and it goes under appreciated. Listen to an album or a song by a black musician. Make an effort to read up on them and see how they have shaped our American genres such as jazz and blues.

As we go through this month let's keep in mind the strong, courageous, resilient, and empowering Black Kings and Queens that paved the way for us to fight for justice towards equity and love.

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17 Signs You Grew Up Irish

Irish and proud!
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With a name like Shannon Elizabeth Ryan many people right away sarcastically ask the question "you're not Irish are you?" I always laugh and jokingly say nope not at all. I'm extremely proud of my Irish heritage, but what does it mean to be Irish?

Here are 17 signs you grew up Irish:

1. You have a distinct Irish name: first or last

Shannon, Elizabeth, Michael, Patrick, Sean, James, Ryan, Riley, Mahony, Murphy. Extra points if your last name begins with O', Mac or Mc.

2. You have been called a "potato head" or towhead as a child

Shannon Ryan

"What a bunch or potato heads!" Meaning you were really Irish or really blonde or both.

3. You were raised Catholic

Shannon Ryan

Catholic school, mass every Sunday. Oh and you were most likely an alter server or in the choir and can say the mass forward and backwards.

4. You have a love for potatoes of any kind.

Also, you may have read this book about a potato as a child.

5. You've been told, "Oh, you're Irish, you can hold your drinks."

Giphy

I mean it's in your blood, right?

6. Funeral, wedding, birthday you really can't tell the difference

Wedding? Get the whiskey. Oh, you said funeral?

... get the whiskey.

7. You know old Irish Songs and sing along with every note

"The Streets of New York," "Black Velvet Band," "Wild Rover," "Molly Malone," "Galway Girl," "Danny Boy," tell me ma all songs I remember being singing along with as a kid.

8. Your favorite holiday is St. Patrick's Day and you go all out

A day to show the world that there are only two types of people in the world: those who are Irish and those that wish they were.

9. You own a Celtic cross, Claddagh ring or any Irish knot jewelry and wear it often

You were most likely given that Celtic cross when you were born and got one for your First Holy Communion. The Claddagh was given by someone who loves you and Irish knots you can never go wrong with.

10. Two words: "soda" and "bread"

Some don't know that the cross made on the top of bread is to keep the devil away and protect the house.

11. You have a HUGE family and the parties and reunions that go along with it are just as big

My family is enormous and this is only half of it and I still don't know everyone.

12. There is no such thing as tanning

Unless you ware one of the blessed ones who do tan I'm extremely jealous. For the rest of us, we have two options pale or red there is no in-between.

13. You may not have the cleanest mouth or quietest voice

But you would never dare say a bad word in front of someone older than you. As for an indoor voice, it's non-existent.

14. You can successfully pull off an “Irish Exit" and then have to explain to your friends the next day what exactly that is when they ask where you went

Basically means you leave the party without anyone knowing.

15. At one point in your life, you've said, “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph" if something went wrong

I heard this a lot growing up and I catch myself saying it every now and again.

16. The only college football team you root for is Notre Dame

I mean is there any other, Let's Go Fighting Irish!

17. Lastly, you are extremely proud of your Irish heritage

We are Irish. We are taught to be strong, have faith in God and learn how to party and have fun. Erin Go Bragh!

Cover Image Credit: kingofwallpapers.com

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What's Happening Between India And Pakistan Can Be Solved With Communication

Rather than fighting against the terrorist groups, both countries are just fighting amongst themselves. This hurts the innocent citizens of each country more than the terrorists.

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It is no secret that India and Pakistan have had tense relations for centuries. Ever since Pakistan had succeeded from India, these conflicts have existed. As the years of gone by, the strained relationships have remained but have gotten a little better. However, in February 2019 any bond that India and Pakistan had created has been sabotaged. For those of you who do not know, India and Pakistan's central conflict since the partition has been the fight over who gets the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Till this day there have been three wars that have been fought between India and Pakistan over the ownership of Jammu and Kashmir, the Indo-Pakistan War of 1947, Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 and the Kargil War of 1999.

Now with the events that are currently happening, both countries could be at the brink of another war.

On February 14, 2019, a suicide bomber who was carrying about 661 pounds of explosives crashed into the convoy of the Central Reserve Police Forces ( CRPF) in Pulwama, India. The suicide bomber had killed 41 people and injured many more. Jaish-e-Mohammed, a terrorist group in Pakistan, took responsibility for the attack and stated that its mission was to free Kashmir from India.

In response to the terrorist attack at Pulwama, India had done an airstrike on March 27, 2019. The airstrike is being celebrated by Indians and is being seen as one of the most efficient missions ever completed. Within 21 minutes, the Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 had dropped about 2204 pounds of bombs over Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist camps killing, according to Indian government sources, about 350 terrorists. (Pakistan has denied any casualties.) This is a good thing India has made the world a safer place. In the process, unfortunately, several civilians were killed, including one mother and her two children all because they lived in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Pakistani government has responded to the airstrike by calling it "uncalled-for aggression." Pakistan has stated that India has violated the Line of Control. The Line of Control refers to the boundary that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan. While this line is not recognized as an international boundary, it is more of a de facto boundary. Using the claim that India has crossed the boundary, Pakistan is getting ready to give a "suitable response in self-defense." This is why there is the possibility of another war between Pakistan and India.

One thing to note is that both sides are ready for war.

Coming from an Indian community, I've been seeing and hearing a lot of pro-war comments, and after reading a lot of articles regarding the issue, it seems that on both sides there are people who are actively encouraging the war. Both countries have been out for each other ever since the partition, and now they both have a reason. But the problem with this war happening is that it would be pointless. Rather than fighting against the terrorist groups, both countries are just fighting amongst themselves. This hurts the innocent citizens of each country more than the terrorists. Lives of soldiers will be sacrificed for a war that does not have to take place. Instead, if both countries come together to fight the terrorists, it would make much more sense.

Let us all remember one thing, boundaries and nations are all human-made things. Before we are Indian or Pakistani or American, we are all human.

All of these wars that are going on with hundreds of thousands of lives put at stake are not worth it. All of these problems can be solved with clear communication and cooperation. We were placed on this Earth to make it a better place and to come together, not divide ourselves by nationalities, religions, skin color, caste or creed. Together we can achieve things that seem impossible, but that is only possible if we put behind these labels and divisions that we created.

As Dalai Lama has once stated, "Each of us must learn to work not just for oneself, one's own family or nation, but for the benefit of all humankind. Universal responsibility is the key to human survival. It is the best foundation for world peace."

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