Yes I'm Black, But I Don't Like The Idea Of Black History Month

Yes I'm Black, But I Don't Like The Idea Of Black History Month

Black history is more than just MLK Jr., Rosa Parks, Emmett Till, Barack Obama and other famous names.

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Up until my senior year of high school, which seems like forever ago now, I always cared about Black History Month.

I always thought it was interesting and exciting to get to learn about all the people of African descent, who have had a lasting impact on the country and even the world. During my senior year though, I took an African-American history class and it completely changed my perspective on things. Don't get me wrong, I am PROUD to be half African-American, and I embrace it to the fullest, but that entire class taught me that black history is American history. But its more than just American history it's WORLD history too!!

So, if black history is just history in general, why do we only really talk about it during the month of February?

It just seems strange to me that the only time we really hear about black people who have, and are currently, doing amazing things for the greater good during the shortest month of the year.

Also, why is there a black history month and there's no Asian history month? Or Latino history month? What makes black people so different from other minority race groups? Or just other people in general?

Let me tell you, and hear me out on this, nothing.

Now nothing might seem harsh, because of the entire slave trade, the civil rights movement, how black people are still discriminated against and everything else in between. BUT so were, and still are today, other minority groups, whether it's race, religion or something else. Every single group has its own struggles, some way more intense and way more serious than others, but still, none the less every group has faced some challenges and difficulties along the way.

But anyway, back to the point, why do we only talk about it the incredible things people who are African are doing one month of the entire year when the past history impacts the entire world? And the people who are African and doing incredible things now will have a future impact on the entire world. Why don't we talk about black history ALL the time? Why isn't it incorporated into our history books more? Why don't we talk about all the other minority groups and all the great things that they're doing more often?

The idea to me that the only time that we get to hear about black history during 28 short days is mind-blowing to me. I want to have black history all the time because it has been around since the beginning of time. But I don't just want black history, I want ALL history! We as an entire world, from every country, should be learning about each others history's and how the impacted or is currently impacting us. We should get rid of the generic history and start branching off to expand our knowledge and open up our minds more.

If everyone did this, think about how much we could learn and what we could do with what we've learned. Think about how much you don't know about other groups history? Now think about much people don't know about yours? I personally believe that it was interesting to learn more than just what's in our textbooks and that we all need to dig a little deeper and branch off of what is taught to us.

While yes the concept of Black History Month is great, and the fact that people get to learn about it is great...but history is history is history and it should be talked about A LOT more than it currently is.

So let's get rid of this stigma that we can only celebrate and be proud of black history during February. Let's celebrate, and be proud of it all the time from now on. And while we're at it, let's include all the other minority groups as well. Because let's be real Mexicans are NOT being treated and talked about the way they should be right now and a huge part of that comes from President Donald Trump...

We should be teaching and learning everyone's and all history, all the time, and maybe the world will be a more understanding place.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Dear Beautiful Black Girl, Never Forget Your Worth

An ode to all the beautiful black girls.

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We live in a society where societal standards greatly define the way we view ourselves. Although in 2019 these standards are not clear cut, some things are not easy to change. Not to play the race card, but this is true for women of color, especially black girls.

As much as I'd like to address this to all women, I want to hit on something that I'm more familiar with: being a black girl. Black females have a whole package to deal with when it comes to beauty standards. The past suppression and oppression our ancestors went through years ago can still be felt in our views of beauty. It is rare to see young black girls be taught that their afros and nappy hair are beautiful. Instead, we are put under flat irons and dangerous chemicals that change our hair texture as soon as our hair becomes too "complicated" to deal with. The girls with darker skin are not praised, but rather lowered in comparison to their peers with fairer skin. A lot of the conditioning happens at a young age — at the age of 8, already you can feel like you're in the wrong skin.

As we grow up, there are more expectations that come here and there, a lot of very stereotypical and diminishing. "You're a black girl, you should know how to dance," "black girls don't have flat butts," "black girls know how to cook," "you must have an attitude since you're black" — I'm sure you get the idea. Let me say this: "black girls," as they all like to say, are not manufactured with presets. Stop looking for the same things in all of us. Black girls come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and talents. I understand that a lot of these come from cultural backgrounds, but you cannot bash a black girl because she does not fit the "ideal" description.

And there is more.

The guys that say, "I don't do black girls, they too ratchet/they got an attitude" — excuse me? Have you been with/spoken to all the black girls on this planet? Is this a category that you throw all ill-mouthed girls? Why such prejudice, especially coming from black men? Or they will chant that they interact with girls that are light-skinned, that is their conditioned self-speaking. The fact that these men have dark-skinned sisters and mothers and yet don't want to associate with girls that look the same confuses me. And who even asked you? There are 100 other ethnicities and races in the world, and we are the one you decide to spit on? Did we do something to you?

Black girls already have society looking at them sideways. First, for being a woman, and second, for being black, and black males add to this by rejecting and disrespecting us.

But we still we rise above it all.

Black girls of our generation are starting to realize the power that we hold, especially as we work hand in hand. Women like Oprah Winfrey, Lupita Nyong'o, Chinua Achebe, Michelle Obama — the list is too long — are changing the narrative of the "black girl" the world knows. The angry black woman has been replaced with the beautiful, educated, and successful melanin-filled woman.

Girls, embrace your hair, body, and skin tone, and don't let boys or society dictate what is acceptable or beautiful. The black girl magic is real, and it's coming at them strong.

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