What It Means To Me

There are many important events that had happened in our culture, and heritage. Black history month is a time to remember and appreciate these events. “Black history”, my history is a way of seeing and learning from the past and using it as a guide for our future.

The question is, why is black history important, and what does it mean to me? We all should know about Rosa Parks and the Montgomery boycott. We also should know about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his dream. They inspire us because they show us that our past is as important as our future. It is our foundation as a people, thus its importance cannot be measured.

As it is important in my life, black history has a very special meaning to me. Black history shows that our people are strong and that our people have came together to overcome their trials and tribulations time and time again. It shows me that our people have had each other’s back in the past, and if practiced is able of doing so again. A good example is Harriet Tubman while running her underground railroad. She would not let anyone turn back or else she’ll shoot them herself. She never once lost a passenger.

Black history means that I will have to be strong. It shows that I can create change. I can make things better. To me black history shows that if my ancestors can come together and make a better place for my generation then we can do it for future generations. It means that I must not take for granted what my ancestors have suffered. I too must fight for the right to be equal.

Even though I may fight, struggle and have many hardships I should let others discover what black history has to do with them. We have celebrations and gatherings to celebrate black history. During these presentations no one is listening, no one cares. Why did our ancestors go through slavery, put up with all of the different types of abuse if we don’t care? If we do not help provide for our future?

Black history means that it my responsibility to help others and make our society better. I must make sure that my future is as good as my past. If we are to be judged not on the colour of our skin but on our knowledge, not many of us can say what our past has to do with our future. Barely any will know much about their past.

Black history is my past, present, and future. The only way for it to be brighter is with everyone’s co-operation. Our race has struggled more times than many, and still continues to struggle. So why aren’t we learning from it? Why can’t we have a community where we do not judge others or ourselves? Part of black history is to realize our problems and how we are going to solve them. We cannot solve them if no one pays attention. Another part of black history is realizing that I can help to make a difference whether talking to my peers or adults.

One way black history has affected my past is the word nigger. That word means a black slave. I must help my peers to realize that that word is not a common greeting word. It should not be taken as a joke. It should be a symbol of our past, and should not be used in our future.

In future years and generations there should not only be celebrations but also information sessions provided for all. Our history should not be a secret that is only remembered during the shortest month of the year. But it should be remembered whenever we make a statement or a decision. Our past is not there to haunt us; it is there to reveal the key to our future.

In conclusion, black history is important to me in many ways. It should be to everyone. Without a past you have no future. Therefore if we are going to forget about our past then we might as well forget about our future. As a quote of Dr. King “You only need a heart full of grace, and a soul generated by love, to accept and share your heritage.”

Note: Applauses and high praises were the mark of the day as participants between the ages of 8-18 read their entries at Canada Domino League Black History Month Essay Competition/Domino Tournament. This year’s title, Black History: “What it means to me,” received many contestants all of whom deserves mention for their efforts, nonetheless, Thalia Rogers, a 15 year student of Cardinal Leger High School in Brampton is the overall winner of the competition while Steven Nembhard and Dilan Lavlae won in the senior and junior scribes category respectively. The event was well attended and various community leaders were among the gathering of which Donna Harrow of Alexandra Park Community Centre was the main speaker. Her message was full of admiration for the clarity, perception and language with which the participants presented their Essay while encouraging them to hold on to their dreams and to continue their quest for knowledge and understanding. The winners all re ceived donated books signed by the authors with Gift vouchers donated by Western Union/Grace Kennedy division, books from the Marcus Garvey Centre for Leadership & Enterprise and from Angie’s restaurant in Scarborough.- Kharl (Garnet) Daley

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