"If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward."
- Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
On this day, when we celebrate and remember Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I am compelled to focus on our resilience as Black people. I had the chance to visit the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) for a second time this weekend and once again I came out feeling proud as ever to be Black.
Me with my parents at the NMAAHC
We have been through some thangs y'all! And yet, here we are, Black and bold and beautiful as ever. With the uncertainty that we are feeling about the coming four years, with a President and First Lady that we love and adore leaving the White House, with attacks on Black men, women and children, there is a lot for us to be worried about. Even so, I am confident that we will make it through, because in the words of Kendrick Lamar "We gon be alright!" Trust me, we will, history has told me so.
Resiliency is defined as "the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness". It's how we bounce back. Think of those times when life tried you. Did you let it get the best of you? Or did you fight back and prove life wrong? I remember the first times when I became very aware of how "different" I was. The time when my mom and I went out to eat and the waitress wouldn't serve us, but jumped at the chance to wait on a white couple. Or the time when I was in third grade and couldn't see the blackboard, but the teacher refused to call on me and said I was a disruption even as I sat quietly with my hand raised. I wasn't expected to amount to much, yet here I am epitomizing all kinds of Black Girl Magic.
Historical photos of Black people
Olympic Medals won by Black athletes from 1904-1996
Black people are nothing short of amazing.
Let us continue to grow in our resilience and uplift our community in theirs. Speak positivity in your life, always. Even if the situation looks bleak, find the positive, speak it, nurture it and watch it grow. Grow your community, surround yourself with positive, like minded people. Meditate and pray, pray and meditate. Take a break, you've earned it. Ask for help! Then accept the help you receive. You don't need to do anything alone; you have a community of supporters behind you. Collaborate. Set your goals. Uplift those around you; because the greatest favor is one that can't be returned. Take your challenges head on. Embrace change. Gain perspective and insight. Read, then read some more. Celebrate your wins, don't dwell on your losses. Say NO! Get rid of every negative thing and person in your life. Take healthy risks; ask for that promotion, quit that terrible job, start your company. Do it! Now! Go!
Be your most beautiful resilient self.
Sprinkle the world with your magic.
Remember and celebrate those who sacrificed for us to be who we are.
Thank you to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and to all of those, dead and alive, who have paved the way. What will you do to leave your mark?
*All photos, except the one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., are my own and were taken during my visit to the NMAAHC.
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