The 30 Day Real Black History Challenge started in 2013 in response to a conversation with someone about the differences in the Black experience in America, and those of other races. In this conversation I was challenged to produce facts that chattel slavery was different than other forms of slavery, and that the experiences of Black people were different than any other people that had been marginalized before.
It was in this horrific conversation that I was challenged, and rose to the occasion. I challenged myself to post 3-5 facts, stories, and bits of information on my facebook for 30 days. After several days I realized how much I was learning and growing in the process, and how many people were engaging in these incredible topics about the underbelly of Black history and the Black Experience.
Something that was meant to be a one time thing carried over to the next year, and now to the third one. The upcoming 2015 Real Black History Challenge will be the third year of this adventure, exploring racism, history, slavery, jim crow, systemic and institutionalized racism, transgenerational and historic trauma, cognitive dissonance, privilege, disparity and challenges that have impacted African Americans and their stories from the moment we touched the shores. And how these stories impacted us then, and now. The culture that has been born from a collective experience of our historic past, and how we are individuals of great strength as a result.
This year seems like an important year to carry on this challenge. Black history month has become commercialized in many ways, and I choose to focus on the points of our history that are often ignored by the greater culture.
I don’t know how long this journey will continue, but for now this is one of the ways that I continue to learn, how I continue to share those stories with others who want to learn, and how we collectively carve out a space in time for just that. It is where I have gotten to concentrate some of the magic of my spiritual path as a Pagan with the stories of my ancestors and the resilience of my people.
As we gear up for the journey this year, may we keep in mind just how much is at stake in 2015, and how important it is for us all to continue to educate ourselves in the struggle.
And so it is.