When people are asked to talk about "race" a lot of people can get uncomfortable, I being one of them. I come from a mixed family. I grew up in Ohio with an American mother who worked incredibly hard to give our family the best that she provides. The other side of my family gives me my darker skin tone and Mexicana genes. I never really understood why this impacted me but it did. Being a person of color today is drastically different than it has been in years past, but that doesn't mean that the problem is just gone. I identify as Chicano American, but I don't know really "what I am". As someone who grew up without "the race talk", I am determined to grow through conversations and knowledge learned about race in today's society. Being both a person of color and someone who experiences white privilege put me in charge of finding both sides of the equation. I may have grown up one way but It's my duty to learn stories of both my ancestors as well as others. Each person has a tale as deep-rooted and complex as your own.
If you have not been actively participating in Black History Month, now is the perfect time to start. There are tons of podcasts, books, news articles, TV shows, and media produced by incredible Black men and women that don't get the attention and glory that they deserve. Behind inventions and great achievements, there are millions of Black stories that continually get erased. Why is that? The history is so rich, as a white person, it can make you wonder why isn't this taught in schools? People in these communities have been wondering this for years. Learning Black history is learning American history without the white-washed aspects of it. With the surge of the Black Lives Matter movement, more and more people are showing their support, but we can't let it just fade. As time goes on, progress is made. Now is the time to make progress.
I recognize that this month is not about me, but I do have some goals to improve my own self in regards to being an actively anti-racist ally. I want to read and listen to Black stories and experiences, understand who really shaped history, and be able to talk about (not necessarily to) these themes. I'm ready to take a look at injustice and get uncomfortable with my own biases and conquer them.
This month, I'm ready to take a look at what Black stories should be household names, what white privilege looks like (and how it affects me!), and how to be actively anti-racist. Happy Black History Month!