Once again, the MSR took to the streets to ask community members if and how they celebrate Black History Month. See their answers below.
I celebrate 12 months out of the year for Black history. I consider the whole year Black history. Any chance I get to embrace a brother or sister to share any information or aid and assist them on anything they are trying to do, or doing business, or point them in the right direction, that to me is how I manifest Black History Month.
I think there is a misconception of what our history consists of. We allow others to tell us or dictate to us, and set the timetable to share our history.
Every day is Black history!
As a community, we definitely need to embrace each other and stop looking for others to validate us and solve our problems. We, as a culture, need to save ourselves.
We need to sit down with each other and discuss some realistic and valuable solutions. We dictate fashion, music, and dance. Everything originated in Africa. We have to stand as Black men and women and lead by example. If the media follows the negative, imagine what they could do with the positive.
It’s important for us as a Black community to celebrate Black History Month to educate the youth about the Black people that came before, the ones here now and the ones that will come later.
We need to educate about Black people to inspire the community, not only in the Twin Cities but also in the US.
I don’t believe in Black History Month. In my opinion, Black History Month should be every month. It doesn’t make any sense to me why we only celebrate Black people 28 days out of the year—especially given the times we are in now.
I celebrate by looking at people through my camera. I love looking into people’s souls capturing those moments for folks at these important events. I am a photographer and I always say, “Inhale Your Life And Live It” (IYLALI)!
Michael Chaney, Project Sweetie Pie
I celebrate Black History Month 12 months out of the year because I am 365 days Black and proud of it. Be Black excellence all day long. We dedicate much of our time to the broader community and the broader society, and it’s okay for us to get involved in Black establishments, agencies, institutions, and Black excellence. Come be a part of Juneteenth and Black History Month and help grow the movement. www.projectsweetiepie.org
To be honest, after years of performing in schools, churches, and the community for Black History Month, I now refuse to do anything just for Black History Month.
I have a Black year and a Black history life.
I often take a chunk of February off instead of running around doing my normal work. My parents taught me how to live out visions and dreams while singing and praying in everything [I] do. I want to envision what I want to do to live in the dreams and prayers of my ancestors and my parents throughout the rest of the year.
I’ve combined farming with community arts, spirituality, and racial equality work for the nourishment and healing of bodies, earth, spirit, and communities.
Kieran Morris, Midwest Farmers of Colors
I celebrate Black history every day. I studied history in college. I had a focus on the diaspora of Black people all over the world. In my personal life, I celebrate Black history by listening to the blues and practicing capoeira, which is an Afro-Brazilian martial arts cultural form.
I would like to see Black people out gardening this summer. I would love to see the community planting something and sharing a meal at the end of harvest.
Coming here as an immigrant… I use Black history as a reflection of where I came from. I use it as a reflection of the struggles I’ve had coming from a Third World country into a First World country and realizing the First World struggles are hard but different.
I like getting in touch with the past history of Martin Luther King and [asking] why did he fight so hard for his people? Why was it a big deal when Barack Obama became president of the United States? Why was it so important to have the first Black family in the White House? Why was George Floyd’s murder so significant? Why did it trigger so much pain in Black people?
Those are things that help me understand Black History Month, so I can share with my kids. I understand the struggle continues and we as parents need to teach our youth at a young age. Everything is a struggle, but together we can succeed.