by Andre Noel Joachim Jr.
I am an American Trinidadian of mixed cultural ancestry with predominantly African roots. Recently I was reading funny stories and watching videos that my friends posted or commented on Facebook, and I realized that no one had anything important to say in regards of Black History Month. When I started going through my friends’ statuses, there were maybe four people who shared something that had to do with the struggles of Blacks, with slavery, or African American History in general.
It amazes me how some people are the first to complain about issues that marginalized populations have to deal with, but they do nothing to advocate for these matters.
I have come to realize that “race” is a social construct, but I also realize it is something that we have to identify ourselves with even nowadays as a result of racism or discrimination. If we all abide by these social constructs, isn’t it our duty to enlighten people - and the generations to come? I for one would love to see more posts about the plight, achievements, and how far we have come; not only by Black people but by people of all colors. I think that Black History has not just affected one particular race, but all races around us. If we say that we should not forget the atrocities that happened in the past, then remembering what Africans went through all around the world should be in everyone’s thought during Black History, if not every day.
So whether people like my Facebook updates or not, I am going to continue sharing throughout the month of February whatever I can find about people who contributed to abolishing slavery, fighting for civil rights or fighting atrocities committed against African slaves and other Americans. I think that if we say “remember Pearl Harbor, the Holocaust, and the two world wars,” then we need to acknowledge those who died, suffered, or contributed to helping the descendants of Africans, who were oppressed with their plight for equality.