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February's Not Just For Valentines

Updated: Feb 18, 2023

By Maya Serrano

Photography by Tia Benson, Styling by Alexa Hoover

Black history month was created to shift the attention to civil rights for African Americans in the United States. February honors all Black people from those who were enslaved in the 17th century to those living on this earth today. Each black history month has a theme to reflect changes in how people of African descent in the United States have viewed themselves; from the influence of social movements on racial ideologies to the aspirations of the black community. February 2023’s theme is resistance. So, it’s only just to talk about aspiring figures in Black history who showed extreme resistance, today.

One great woman who fought for African American civil rights with resistance is Rosa Parks. Parks helped initiate the civil rights movement, along with Martin Luther King Jr., when she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery in 1955. These actions inspired the Black community to organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott. This boycott lasted more than a year, and ended when the U.S. The Supreme Court ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional. Rosa Parks’ resistance led her to be a recognized symbol of dignity and strength in the struggle to end racial segregation (History 2009).

There are many other trailblazers that paved the way for African Americans during the civil rights movement: Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and more. The hardship that African Americans had to endure being captured from their home, enslaved in the United States, and facing years of oppression after being freed is unimaginable; therefore, it is important that we take this month to honor these civil rights activists, and try to understand the hardships that were underwent by African Americans by acknowledging our privilege.

Black History Month is not a way to make White or Non-Black people feel guilty, rather it is a time to celebrate prosperity and the power in unity while simultaneously celebrating Black voices that have been silenced for far too long.

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