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More Than A Month: Black History!

Dear Non-Black Person,

I would like to thank you for dedicating an entire month to celebrate my history; my Black History.

I feel truly honored to be given 0.08% of a year to celebrate, acknowledge, and recognize my ancestors and the tremendous pain they felt. I love how all of a sudden it is all about appreciating my skin tone, my hair, my style, and my intelligence. You now post about my tradition, my music, my culture, my art and so much more. I am amazed by the fact our skills and abilities do not really exist until it’s Black History Month. During Black History Month our potential is indubitable and admired.

More Than A Month Black History Month Unisex  Red T-shirt by black owned LEV8 of Jessica Ogunnorin

After February, it is back to the norm: children asked not to participate in school activities because of their hair, employees asked to change their hairstyle or tone to fit a company’s culture, police brutality continues to be synonymous to death of innocent black men or boys, and blacks are only good in sports or do not belong in high administrative or executive positions. 

No, I am not bitter. I am not an angry black woman. No, I am not focused on the past. And yes, I have forgiven the mistakes of other races that targeted mine. I also encourage others to be forgiving too. We turned and continue to turn our pain into art anyway; we are that creative. However, I do not tolerate for my excellence to be confined. I do not accept to be seen 28 or 29 days a year. I refuse to be okay with another form of boxing and limiting my race's potential, strength, and impact by bringing attention to it one month a year.

I am black all year round! My magic does not come with an expiration date! So, if you want to celebrate me, use your voice all the time. Speak up on injustice every day. Stand up for what is right fearlessly and not only when it is convenient or trendy.

Before I am black, I am human; a human just like you. I am a human with a heart and the primary need to feel loved and be protected. So, my question for you “Non-Black Person” is, “How does it feel to be protected and loved all year round? Does it makes you feel unstoppable, powerful, capable, and most importantly safe?” Now imagine a life where you spend 11 months a year being afraid in the body and skin you were blessed with and born into. Imagine possessing all the necessary skills, but not being given a chance because of the texture of your hair, the size of your lips or the boldness and honesty in your voice…

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I am more than a month. I am a force. I am faith. I am excellence. I am not better than you and you are not better than me. We are simply equally amazing in the skins we are in.

 

To my Black People,

Do not be a victim of the system, celebrate your beauty all year round and remember that your beauty, uniqueness, and talent are undeniable facts (YES FACTS!) and not someone else’s opinion or close-mindedness. You are more than a month. You are excellence all year round.

Happy Black History Year!

 

Love Always,

Jessica Ogunnorin

 

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3. Respect me...it's an order that I earned!