Nigel K. Phillips
a.k.a. “Mac P”
Black History Month is an iconic bedrock upon which African-Americans hold unity, purpose, and identity for themselves. It is also a time where all Americans reflect upon the rich culture and traditions of Africa. The most popular African tradition is Kwanzaa. During Kwanzaa, it is expected that one is to honor each of the seven principles. Each day is a principle; the holiday spans across a seven day period. The first day is called Umoja, which means unity. The second day is Kujichagulia, which means self-determination. The third day is Ujima, which means working together, or collective work and responsibility. The fourth day is Ujamaa, which means supporting each other. The fifth day is called Nia, which means purpose. The sixth day is Kuumba, which means creativity. The seventh, and last day, is called Imani. Imani means faith, especially faith in ourselves.
The holiday known as Black History Month initially started as Negro History Week in 1926. The reason why this holiday is so important is that it gives everybody a gift. This is the gift of comradery.Every year, my friends and I have a ball! Regardless of color or creed, we all have fun and individually, as well as cooperatively, reflect upon the importance of our related history. This is because when we trace all of our history far back enough, the divisions we have today don’t really matter.
Black History Month is also a time where we honor all male and female pioneers of color. They are similar to the students of this school in a sense where when given a chance, whether during or after receiving our education, we seize opportunity and make it our own. We are pioneers, much like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman and many impactful figures. These leaders created ideas, and stood behind them. These pioneers received the respect, fellowship, fear, and obedience of white and black alike. Furthermore, they serve as a beacon of light for little black and white children when lost in the darkness of racism, inequality, ignorance, and oppression. Now although every month should be Black History Month, let this issue touch your soul and promote the ideals of unity, entrepreneurship, and history. Be memorable; try to be like Martin, Malcolm, or Harriet. Be a pioneer.