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Interrogating How We Celebrating Women's History & Black History Month Celebration

On the heels of IWD and the conclusion of Black History Month (shoutout to all the Black Women-- ily real bad), I can't help but think about the influx of posts titled the "Top Ten Black..." or "A List of Women Who Are....". And while I love seeing folks from marginalized backgrounds get the praise and recognition that is well-deserved and long overdue, it makes me think about the impact cultural moments like this have on the larger community.


The reality is that most people in these communities don't have the access and ability to be the first, second, or even the fiftieth. So when do they get mainstream praise and recognition? Is that, too, not long overdue?


I'm a firm believer in the saying, "two things can be true at once." Well, the two truths are:


1) We should celebrate the trailblazers that are defying systemic barriers to success for themselves and their communities

AND

2) People are worthy of celebration simply for existing because existing is an act of resistance in itself.


Mainstream moments around celebrating Women, Black people and/or LGBTQIA+ folks can place an unfair amount of responsibility on marginalized folks to change their conditions themselves and "follow the leader" or "be the leader" instead of naming and dismantling the systems of oppression that force folks into being "The First" and usually "the last." This is more than just an issue of "bootstrap mentality"; this is really about appreciating and celebrating human existence outside of what we're told makes us "valuable."


Our worth is not tied to our labor, job title, innovation, or social standing. So while I celebrate and support the movers and shakers that defied all odds and achieved mainstream success, I also want to celebrate the people who are doing what they can with what they have. You, too, are deserving of love, admiration, and celebration.


I'm here to celebrate the essential works, blue-collar workers, first responders, "baby mamas", "city girls", "trappers", single moms, and the people who are simply making "something out of nothing".

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