Happy Black New Year! January was a long month. Between Regents examinations and 45s State of the Union….I grew exhausted. However, while scrolling through my Instagram feed @BoiSociety helped me transition into a different mindset. February, marks the start of not just a month but an amazing year. I and many others are 365 Black. For us, the month of February provides an opportunity to celebrate and lay the foundation for the work that needs to be done between now and February 2019. I’m starting this beautiful Black New Year off with one resolution, learning to celebrate and not always be stuck in an everstate of rage while struggling to dismantle the system.
Through celebration, we are rejuvenated.
For the rest of the year and especially this month I will do all of the following:
#1 – Say it Out Loud, I’m Black & I’m Proud
2018 is a landmark year. Not only because Black Panther is released this month but the moguls (Diddy & Jay Z) who many of us grew up admiring are beginning to have public and honest conversations about Blackness, financial freedom and #BlackExcellence. Often times we silence ourselves discussing race or our powerful light so that others may shine or to NOT ruffle any feathers. This Black New Year, glow up & rejoice loudly about your process and success.
#2 – Enjoy Today’s Black History
It is important that we analyze our ancestors but it is also crucial to highlight today’s strides. I’ve personally decided to not celebrate “the first Black”…. but to celebrate “the last first Black.” Despite this I love reading up on people and organizations that have us at the top and shifting power. This week it was announced that Michael Thomas became the new editor of The Harvard Law Review. He is only the third Black male to control the review and he is following President Obama and the first African American female editor ImeIme Umana in the review’s century old history. There are so many of us doing great work, make sure you are out in the Twitter verse, IG land & Snapchat realm clapping it up in celebration just as we do for our beloved celebrities.
#3 Step Out wit ya Threads On
Did yall catch The Black Panther red carpet?! The level of SLAY was peerrrrfection! Not only was I at home screenshotting my life away trying to figure out what I’m wearing to the theatre but I realized I need to get out the house! Work can keep you so busy that you miss opportunities to connect with ya people. In the month of February I’ll see Black Panther with colleagues, students and close friends.
Don’t just stay in the house, step out in your best panther threads! Keep the #BlackMenSmiling and #BlackWomenSmiling hashtags trending. Whether it’s cold or not, seek out events that celebrate our past + present place in history. I’m currently planning to attend The Schomburg Center’s Teach-In event on Feb. 8th. The event, modeled after teach-ins for social movements, there will be a discussion on intersectionality and police violence. On the 21st of Feb. I’m also making sure to catch The 60s – The Summer of 1964 Harlem Riots plus more!
#4 Celebrate in Your Classroom
Make sure the celebration is shared across your school. Black History Month has grown since my days in K-12. The “create a poster of MLK” lessons have shifted into a discovery of amazing artists, writers, painters and revolutionaries that students otherwise may ever be exposed to. Use this month to create a lesson with your students that celebrates Claudette Colvin, Bayard Rustin and The Black Panthers. Host a celebration after school, bring in food, music and dance.
Remember … this is our time to celebrate, everywhere we go.