February: On Black History, Love, and Mutuality

2023-03-14T11:59:58-04:00March 14th, 2023|

It is the beginning of March, and with it the end of February. As we wrap up our observance of Black History Month and Valentine's day, we reflect on the role of Black History, and of love, in our lives. The reason Black History Month exists, and the reason we must acknowledge racism, is not (as some people may believe) with the intent to instill guilt and shame. It is not with the purpose of causing strife and contention, contentious and uncomfortable issue though it may be. No it is for exactly the opposite reason–love.  Valarie Kaur writes, “Revolutionary love is the call of our times. Revolutionary love is when we are brave enough to see no stranger, to look at anyone and think, you are a part of me that I do not yet know.” When we tell Black stories, we come to understand one another, and ourselves.  When we know American Black history, we come to understand that part of our collective identity that is shaped by that historic context. Ultimately, we come to know and understand why our communities, cities, and country are splintered along racial lines, something we all sense, but may be too scared to acknowledge.  Racism is complex and contentious, many of us are afraid to even broach the subject. It can often feel like opening a can of worms, and the fear of making a mistake can be paralyzing. In the “post