Today marks the beginning of that moment set aside to recognize African American’s contribution to the esteemed (uh hmm) democracy that is America. We could devote plenty of time discussing the problematic nature of having Black History relegated to the shortest month of the year, as well as being set apart from the general acknowledgment of American history, but today we have a different objective. Personally, we here at black women UNchecked strive to preserve, celebrate, and promote the achievements of our ancestors on a daily basis. We appreciate the month of February as an opportunity to highlight and affirm black milestones and persons during this time when the nation is actually attentive.
If the name says anything, it’s that we are passionate about black women and the issues they face. One of our major goals is to revolutionize the way black women are perceived in the media and create forums where we can be defined, on our own terms. We felt this month would be the perfect time to solicit our readers’ opinions of what it means to be a black woman unchecked.
Send us your thoughts and let us know what comes to mind when you hear the phrase. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate; drop us a quick tweet, vlog, or facebook message. Whatever is convenient for you to express yourself. Black History month involves all of us; man, woman, child, elder. But we feel like it is important to give special attention to black women because we are so often overlooked, ignored, and because we experience hardships on several levels.
Black history is American history and should be observed on a regular not annual basis. So, we like to think of this month as an opportunity to profile historical black figures and people, programs, and organizations who are doing great work now that is outstanding and usually not recognized under other circumstances.
Reflecting on the usual narratives of black history month reminds us of the sacrifices and passion of our ancestors that were the foundation for many of the opportunities we have today. The number one factor that drove many freedom and civil rights campaigns was service.
During the active struggle for racial equality leaders may not have agreed on how to obtain freedom, but they all agreed that their work was on behalf, or in service, of the community. Today, amidst the economic, political, and social ruins of greed, we are beginning to hear the term service more often in public discourse. The president recently launched a service campaign encouraging everyone to participate in our country’s renewal and recovery.
In recognition of the power of service, we here at black women unchecked are initiating a service campaign. This month we will commit to 3 hours a week to service or work that benefits others. We encourage all of readers to join us. Don’t get overwhelmed by the idea of service, it doesn’t have to be anything hard.
Service is as simple as visiting with an elder on your block that doesn’t have family around, and just wants to feel recognized. Service can be assisting someone younger than you with a project that you may have more expertise with. Service can be organizing a neighborhood cleanup for an hour with a group of people who want to get rid of the litter in the streets.
If you need help finding service opportunities in your area check out www.serve.gov. Please share ideas, organizations, or events in your area that relate to service. Also, follow along with us as we work on our projects. Make sure to send in your video responses to the question “What does a black woman unchecked mean for you?”
Throughout the month be sure to check in to read our spotlight profiles highlighting folks who embody the spirit and passion of those who paved the way for us.