Written by Lauren Antoinette
The month of February brings a wide range of celebrations into view. There is Chinese New Year, NBA All Star Weekend and Valentine’s Day, however for many, the month is a time to reflect on the vibrant and deeply rooted past of the African Diaspora.
In honor of Black History Month, Wondrous Occasions featured a daily spotlight to include some of the lesser known stars of the African Diaspora; including not only individuals but kingdoms and ideals. We covered everything from the Queens and Kings of Africa to the impact Black people had on the modern fashion industry. We discussed the historical proof that African people populated the furthest corners of the earth and gave birth to societies that some recent history accounts would have led you to believe we were never a factor. Spotlights included:
- Kandake Queen Amanitore, ruler over Kush (modern day Ethiopia) from 1AD to 20 AD
- Ma Rainey, The Mother of the Blues
- Khmer Empire, the original black civilization of Cambodia that existed from 802 to 1431AD
- The Picts; a Black History story that takes us to the lands of Northern Scotland
- Emperor Mansa Musa, of the Mali Empire, which was known as the richest man in the world.
The most powerful thing to take from the review of Black History Month is gaining an understanding of who one is and where one comes from. There is pure inspiration in knowing the true origin and impact of a bloodline. For many black children in America, there is always increased focus on the time their people were enslaved and African history is not even a part of the main curriculum. How psychologically ruinous it can be for a young black mind to sit in a class room and learn about the Kings of Europe, the Emperors of China and the Samurai of Japan; never seeing a face that looks like them until they pull out a brief description of a man bound in chains on the auction blocks of James Town. To grow up in a society where one’s true self and history was obscured, altered and manipulated should be seen an abomination. A hidden account of someone’s history condemns that person to think they never mattered, that what they do means nothing. Lack of knowledge in yourself can leave you with lack of purpose and diminished perspective.
Black History Month was devised to remind the African Diaspora they came from greatness, birthed out of the Omnipresent Creator and formed in the likeness of the most powerful force known to the Universe. As a part of the African Diaspora your pedigree is throughout the entire earth. You are the Mothers and Fathers of the human race, a vessel holding the blueprint to who we are and what we can be. You did not come from slaves; you came from the freest and enlighten people to ever walk the earth. You did not come from grass huts and heathens but from great minds and artisans. You did not come from a people that the world always detested, you were loved, worshiped and respected. You are not less than but worthy of admiration and contain the ability to do immense things.
We are now in an age where information is more accessible than ever. Make it a point to research and learn about yourself. Learn more than just what you see on social media. If you truly knew where you came from and the achievements that were made, you would never have a moment to question where you could go if you decided to make a move. The past is there to teach you how to design your future.