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  • Writer's pictureAmenkha Sembenu

BLACK IS.......










Everything for me, a way of life, an experience, a kingdom. As I reflect on this year's Black History Month, I think about the battles my ancestors fought through for me to live my daily life.

What is interesting to the mind is that even 400-plus years later, black people including myself are still fighting constant battles to be seen, heard, understood, invited, welcomed, and let alone acknowledged.

Recently when questioning in spaces around me why Black History Month is not being acknowledged as often in the past years I got the question of "Well how do we celebrate Black History Month? Do we cut a slice of cake ? Do we pop open a bottle of champagne?

These kinds of questions are the reason why we have months such as Black History Month, Latino Heritage Month, AAPI Month, and so on.

What many fail to realize is that in fact and indeed Black people were and still are an integral part of this country and the world, from building the foundation of the Americas off their bare backs to influencing the world with music, fashion, cuisine, and language.

We are a focal point, and yet our culture, our history, and our pure existence is under attack. For years and in the so-called "progressive " year of 2024, there are organized plans to erase Black people and our contributions to society from history.

The average person does not even realize that some of the things you use to do basic tasks, some of the things you say in common everyday lingo, and the foods you eat stem from curation by a black person. Below are some everyday things we use as a society that were invented by black people.

Mind-blowing to many isn't it? For the community, this is no shock. We are a community of innovators, creatives, trendsetters, fighters of justice, and dreamers, with the same passion and grit that our ancestors had 400-plus years ago.

So I ask how do we celebrate Black History Month? We celebrate by acknowledging, educating, and creating awareness, so that each day that passes by, opens up a new opportunity for a black person to be heard, seen, acknowledged, welcomed, and understood.

We may be in the year 2024, but history has proven we have many years of progression to work toward change and equity, and though that progression can take years, change begins with you. So as we close out this year's Black History Month, whether you identify with the black community or not, I challenge you to think about how can you educate yourself, and others, create spaces of awareness, and show up for others in spaces where they may not be acknowledged or welcomed.


Love Always,


Amenkha Sembenu

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