It’s Black History Month! For twenty-nine days (it’s a leap year!), we’ll celebrate the great accomplishments from people of African descent. Facing countless obstacles, our ancestors fought for the right to freedom and justice. They fought to be seen and treated as human beings. And when it was clear to them that many would not see them as human beings, they built their own communities and provided their own immediate needs. This level of self-determination should be the foundation of Black History Month observance.
As we acknowledge and show gratitude for their achievements, we should equally observe their ways of living. We may find practices that are still (or even more) valuable today.
How did they define and develop community?
How did their communities fulfill the rights and support each other?
The answer wasn’t as simple as clicking the “donate now” link. Service to and for one another is how they built a future for us. They dedicated time and energy. We should admire their contributions, but let us recognize that at the core, they sacrificed time—that thing that many of us no longer have, so are we effectively building community?
Time is a sensitive topic for many of us. We seem to have less time in a society where innovations are said to give us more of it. Can you believe there was an R&B song in the 90s that mentioned sending someone a four-page letter?! (Ha! Yeah, you remember!) Can you imagine taking that kind of time today? But time is exactly what we need to maximize our individual wellbeing so that we can envision and build a better future as our ancestors did for us.
Here at Idris’s Pieces, we want to spend this month appreciating beneficial traditions and bringing into our own lives the practices and lessons that uplift and rejuvenate our mind, body, and spirit. The Earth naturally rejuvenates itself, and as our ancestors did, we should remain as close to it as we possibly can. For some this is less spending at big-box grocery stores and more at direct-from-farmer spaces like farmers’ markets. For some it’s less microwaving and preheating the oven before being overtaken by hangriness. For others, it could be ensuring that the products we use are as natural as possible. Products such as coconut oil that can be used in multiple ways should be within an arm’s reach in our homes. Can you make pancakes with your current lotion? Can you whiten your teeth with it? How natural are ingredients that we can’t pronounce?
Our ancestors had ways of living that kept them in tune with the earth and in tune with one another. The sacrifices they made are still being witnessed today. Let us honor our past by making the best of it a part of our present. And check out our website for products you’ve been missing out on. If you’re serious about making an impact, “you’ll need these along the way.”
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