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As we Celebrate Black History not only this Month…..

We Are The Light

Google: The Definition of Black
Results: adjective;
of the very darkest color owing to the absence of or complete absorption of light; the opposite of white

Google: The Definition of History
Results: noun;
1. the study of past events, particularly in human affairs.
2. the whole series of past events connected with someone or something.



These are the results that we get when we google the words BLACK and HISTORY
By definition black is to be absent of light
But it does not say that TO BE BLACK is to be absent of light
And that’s how our stories are being portrayed in history
Darkness, lack of, blinding
And according to these definitions it is the direct opposite of white
And since History by definition is the entirety of past events
Why does Black History not include the opposite of white stories, portrayals, and events
Their truths aren’t ours because they couldn’t see through our lens
But we are told that their recollection is ours time and time again
We are told that our stories don’t matter because its already told in history books
But I was never taught the opposite of white past
I was just indoctrinated to think that nothing was overlooked

There comes a time when we must know about our ancestors outside of slavery
A time where we may be told prior to college PAID classes that
Being black in America wasn’t just picking cotton, whippings and chaos
Yes we are taught about Dr. King, Malcom X, and freedom writers and more
Yes these stories highlight the gains that we have made
But those stories also are built around sadness, oppression, and loss
Where are the stories about our Black Alexander Graham Bell
Whose name is Lewis Latimer and was overlooked in his work with Bell when inventing alongside of him
Where are our stories about the Black founding fathers of America such as Richard Allen
Where are our stories about geniuses like Albert Einstein:
Benjamin Banneker, builder of Americas first clock
Katherine Johnson, NASA mathematician
I wish I knew that a Black woman invented GPS
To get us to where we are going today we can thank Dr. Gladys West
I wish I knew that a Black nurse from Queens
by the name of Marie Van Britton Brown created the home security system
I wish I knew that our steam engines which transported goods back and forth through
The country that was built on the back of my ancestors
Was successful because of the invention of automatic lubrication by Elijah Mccoy
a black man
I wish I knew that mobile refrigeration in our nation was due to a man named Fredrick McKinley Jones
Who thought outside of what was put in front of him
And created a way to sustain perishables while on the go
Henry Blair, revolutionized agriculture
Soloman Brown, assisted on Morse telegraph
I wish I knew that most of our home inventions could be contributed to black men and woman
Because they had to make a way to be able to do housework easier while in slavery
But all we hear about is the latter
I wish I knew all of the great things that we helped contribute to our world
But instead I was taught as a child that slavery in America was the base and that’s all
I want all children to be aware that African Americans
Come from great beginnings from the motherland
That we were powerful kings and queens who villages rained with gold
Who are outstanding in our way and that we were capable of anything
I wish our children were taught K-12 that our people were amazing and invented so much
That our contributions to American history were just as important as their white counterparts
Our world and our past are so much and we need to hear it all
I am but one person
One voice
And one mind
But together we can all remember, recite, and teach
That Black History is not void of, lack of, or not right
But instead that
Black History is the light

-Ashante Sabir
(Ashante Collins, ISAAC ARTF Lead, ISAAC Phone Banking Lead and Campaign for Criminal Justice Transparency Co-Chair)