Black History Month 2017: Compiled Reflections

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I wanted to change things up for 2017. Instead of posting BHM facts, accomplishments and historical figures, I wanted to share relatable content that goes against the “Exceptional Negro” line of thinking that allows non-black people to write-off achievements as exceptional rather than the norm.

Perhaps I was/am too willing to be vulnerable so publicly, but I figured I’d rather create a space for dialogue rather than sharing content that was very easy to skim past. I figured by raising some controversial topics, I could also channel my inner Paul Mooney.

Each day of BHM is linked in a separate post that originally appeared on my Facebook…

  1. The importance of Black History Month for me: the gaps in our education system, the responsibility for communities and parents to pass down the traditions/knowledge, and what our choices tell us.
  2. My black grandparents: highlighting the role of faith and my grandparents fostering a family of (community service).
  3. Alvin Ailey trip: the power of cultural exposures, giving back and artistry.
  4. Wage Gap: the intersectional nuance of equal pay.
  5. Segregation Sundays: where we pray still remains segregated.
  6. Fortune 500 Diversity: how far have we come and why are we only at 1% representation.
  7. Allyship & The Classroom: the role of education in teaching valuable lessons about discrimination
  8. Do You Live Here?: understanding the triggers of fear, how to be a good ally and inequality every day.
  9. Good Hair: being checked on my vocabulary and a humorous resource to learn.
  10. Confederacy & Coretta: the trigger of the confederate flag, teaching your children survival and Coretta’s views on Jeffrey Sessions.
  11. Twice as Hard, Half as Much: the “other talk” black children get about succeeding in America.
  12. Paper Bags & Colorism: the legacy of colorism and the stratification of the black community.
  13. What is Blackness: a journey to discover, defend and redefine blackness.
  14. #BlackLove: becoming aware, appreciative and proud of your blackness in order to find love.
  15. Moonlight: an incredible piece of art.
  16. A Read: cultural appropriation, the LGBT community and shade.
  17. Electric Slide: dancing as a collective and individual expression of community.
  18. Presidents & Masters: what Presidents’ Day means and slavery.
  19. Obama Passport: black travel under the Obama administration.
  20. Black Republicans: history of the GOP and Democratic parties, the Southern Strategy and black voting trends.
  21. Apollo Night: exploring tough love at Harvard College.
  22. Black at Work: navigating race in the work place.
  23. Pull Up Your Pants: a look at respectability politics specifically and broadly.
  24. Sports Advocacy: a history of athletes using their platform to further the cause.
  25. Spoken Word: my favorite spoken word artist does her magic on my story.
  26. Media Representation: the importance of growing up with role models and mundane stories of people who look like you.
  27. Smiling More & Structural Racism: an exploration of bias, employee review processes and respectable smiles.
  28. Lemonade: Beyonce, #blackexcellence, #blackboyjoy and #blackgirlmagic.

My first words: but why though? | Biting my tongue requires daily reminders | Unapologetically me https://linktr.ee/alterrellmfmills

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