By Maya Freeman
This piece was originally published on the blog "Blaque Rhetoric."
Black History Month (“/Blak//ˈhist(ə)rē//mənTH/”), also known as African-American History Month is one of the greatest times to celebrate important people of color and events in history of the African diaspora. Not only is Black History Month a time for me to learn more about my culture, it is also a time to expose Black Excellence. Before starting college at Christian Brothers University, I had never heard the term “Black Excellence.” To me, it was just two simple words. Over time, what used to be two simple words began to encompass my whole being in life.
Being black is hard. It’s more than just getting mistreated, receiving unfair and unjust punishment – and it’s definitely more than just “funny” stereotypes.
Being black is:
- Waiting until Presidency number 44 to step foot in the White House (219 years)
- Getting harassed and accused while shopping
- Only being on the cover of Ebony Magazines
- Not receiving equivalent amounts African-American History classes as the typical “White American “counterparts
- Having to style my hair a certain way for job interviews and to be accepted in Corporate America
- Getting called the “Boy Scouts of America” for having a t-shirt that says BSA (Black Student Association)
- Not seeing more than 1 Woman that resembles me in Miss America Pageants
- Not seeing more of a Black Male presence in the classroom or Corporate America
This is what being black feels like – daily.
Excellence /ˈeks(ə)ləns/ noun
“ the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.”