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Black History Month: My Responsibility as a Non-Black Person

by Anissa Garcia, LPC

The month of February marks the beginning of Black history month. During this month we celebrate and acknowledge the great contributions of Black people that history has often underrepresented or omitted.

What does it mean for a non-black person to celebrate Black History month? Oftentimes we look towards Black people to teach us about the value of the black experience. Thus, lifting our burden and placing it on the backs of those who are meant to be celebrated. This would be similar to having our mothers buy their own Mother’s Day gift. Or buying your own birthday present. Our release of burden steals away the significance of Black History month.

You see, Black history month is about sharing our love and concern for our Black brothers and sisters. It is removing our armor of privilege and standing in solidarity. It is learning about the impact of white supremacy and how it affects black lives. It is about recognizing our responsibility to help dismantle these systems that rob Black freedom and justice. So that we can rejoice in Black liberation and happiness because once Black lives are free then we are all free.

So, if you are a non- Black person looking to celebrate Black history month. Please take a moment to honor the Black lives that have been taken (say their names: Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, George Floyd, Tamir Rice, Daunte Wright, Eric Garner, Andre Hill, Manuel Ellis, Atatiana Jefferson, Aura Rosser, Stephon Clark, Botham Jean, Philando Castile) Then reflect on how you can contribute to Black joy without burdening Black lives.

Black history happens every day it does not stop and begin in February.

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