For decades now Black people have celebrated their contributions to American History and Culture during February, as part of Black History Month. Annually, we come together to observe where we have been, and we look ahead toward a bright future.
This Black History Month, The AMAAD Institute is calling our community into action. It is imperative that we focus our collective attention on Community Health, Wellness, and Healing. Often the way we treat ourselves, and each other is often reflective of how we have been treated by our family members or in the community.
Imagine growing up and constantly having to hear messages about being an abomination to God, or that you are going to hell, or will succumb to the HIV/AIDS virus. These are the messages that have plagued the Black LGBTQIA+ community.
I am reminded of our resiliency, and our strength as I reflect on the Civil Rights movement that continues to play out in America today. It is my belief that the Black community can move anything we put our hands on, but we cannot move forward if we refuse to have conversations that make us feel uncomfortable. We have to take ownership of our personal lives and our community because if we don’t, nothing will change. For forty-plus years we have watched the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In recent years COVID-19 has surfaced and Black people are yet again in the midst of conversations on how this impacts our future. It is time for us to Sankofa “go back and get it”. To learn from the past and apply it to the future. This is how we work toward progress.
The village mentality that our ancestors established in the Black community decades ago, must return. Collectively we have to think the best of each other even when we don’t fully understand. We have to stop spectating and be a part of the change we want to see in our community. If we open our hearts and educate our minds we can eradicate every pandemic, stigma, and obstacle in our way. Happy Black History Month AMAAD Squad!
Youth Health & Wealth Manager