Have you ever come across the question, “Why do they get a whole month for recognition?” I’ll admit, before fully embracing my identity as a member of a marginalized community, I often heard this sentiment. It irked me, but I remained silent, thinking it didn’t directly concern me. But it’s like suddenly noticing the same model of car everywhere after you’ve bought one. This was my experience during my first Pride Month as part of the LGBTQ+ community when I realized how common this question was and how important it was to not ignore its intent.

This blog post isn’t about Pride Month. It’s essential to recognize that celebrating a group, as we do during Black History Month, is about more than just one month; it is about 12 months. Whether it’s Black History or Pride Month, the core values are the same: advocating for civil rights and social justice, highlighting the ongoing fight for equality, and addressing discrimination, prejudice, and systemic inequalities.

So, instead of questioning the need for a month dedicated to education about these communities’ history, struggles, and achievements, let’s embrace it as an opportunity for reflection and learning. An attempt to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and ask why we might feel uncomfortable or hesitant to speak up. Is it fear? Concern about losing status or privilege? As someone who identifies with a marginalized group, I know that my initial silence was rooted in fear.

But here’s the thing, these months are about raising awareness and understanding, challenging stereotypes and misconceptions, and celebrating the resilience and contributions of these communities. They’re a chance for us all to grow, learn, and embrace diversity and inclusion.

As we honor Black History Month, let’s remember the rich history and invaluable contributions of Black individuals throughout history. Let’s use this time to listen, learn, and appreciate the diverse heartbeats that make up our society. Together, we can create a more inclusive and comfortable world for everyone!

Mikey Meagher
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