As a black woman in an interracial relationship, I hold my culture. I must pass this culture down to my biracial children. Being in an interracial relationship has not caused me to lessen my ear or close my eyes to the systematic racism we as Black Americans face. The generational struggle as a devalued people dates back 619 years now. My children are of mixed race, but society will ALWAYS see them as black, especially when I walk into the room to represent them.
Six centuries ago dating back to the year 1401, Portugal and other European Kingdoms began kidnapping people from Western Africa, this was the start of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. It would not be until June 19, 1865 that slavery would be abolished for ALL black people. Ending slavery would not end all injustice. Systemic racism, the next level of racism endured by black americans, would arise right after.
In most recent times, the news has played a heavy role in racial awareness, covering topics of racial injustice from Travon Martin, mockings of Obama while in office, and most recently a Texas school not allowing a black student to graduate unless he cut his dreadlocks.
When racism arises from across the sea, it shines light that there is no where on this planet that we as a devalued race can elude racism, hate and discrimination.
I believe Dr. King’s, I have a dream speech, the line in which he says “I have a dream that our nation will not judge others by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” has yet come to pass. We must put into practice the choice to make a difference in standing together and standing against these same issues of racism and white supremacy that tether us to a disgraceful and evil, lingering past. I believe it was Winston Churchill who said in his 1948 speech to the House of Commons that, “those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”
Black History month is a time to reflect upon where we have come and how much further we as a people, as a nation still have to go. It’s a month for ALL to learn the impact Black Americans have made in this great nation, but most importantly for us as Black Americans to pay homage to our ancestors, great leaders, and allies that fought the battles of racial injustice long ago. This month comes with pride as it shines light on our heroes who don’t get much recognition in the history books taught in school systems. This month comes with a side of prejudice due to ill-educated people and a disgraceful past. Black history is not just American history, it’s also world history.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
–The Declaration of Independence
“The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it.”
– Rafiki, The Lion King
Cassie Murphy is a mother and a strong believer in “live and let live.”