I want to reflect on some moments that defined America’s core values of freedom, justice, fairness, and equality.
There is Jackie Robinson’s barrier-breaking moment at the home plate.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s voice echoing across the Washington monuments.
John Lewis teaching the world that getting into good trouble is necessary to fight for freedom.
Fannie Lou Hamer’s bravery to speak up for equal voting rights for all.
Shirley Chisholm’s promise to remain unbought and unbossed.
Alicia Garza building a movement to show and affirm that Black lives matter too.
Trans activist Laverne Cox unapologetically fighting for dignity and respect, proving every day that #TransIsBeautiful.
Rep. Lucy McBath turning her pain into power and action against gun violence after her son’s brutal murder.
And more recently, Stacey Abrams’ inspiring and passionate State of the Union response.
They — and so many others — are the leaders, storytellers, inventors, activists, and hidden figures who have impacted our country in the most empowering ways. They are trailblazers who made a pathway for every future generation to dream bigger than their world. Because of each of them, we are better people — a better America.
Being Black is understanding your role and responsibility to an enduring and thriving legacy. A legacy that endured when the doors of higher education were closed to us, segregation and discrimination were the law of the land, and few recognized our potential and capacity to be leaders.
To be Black is to know that as creators, innovators, and agents of change, we embody the strength of generations that will forge the way forward for our country and our world.
We celebrate Black history every day. It’s all around us. This month is just the anniversary.
So let’s rejoice in our rich history — not just today, but every day.
Happy Black History Month,
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