The world is increasingly more aware and more in support of Black history month, an annual celebration in the United States, that happens every February since it was first proposed in 1970. Rightfully so.
It is not just another holiday on the calendar, it honors the rich culture, history, pain, and triumph of the African-Americans. To celebrate the Black people, who they are, and their contributions to society.
Each year, a theme is chosen by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), an organization founded by Carter G. Woodson.
This theme is to celebrate the Black’s contributions and influence, raise awareness and bring to the public the developments, lack, and importance of that particular topic.
2021 had its theme for Black History Month, The Black family.
This year, 2022, the theme for 2022 Black history month is Black health and wellness.
This theme puts a spotlight on the health and wellness sector of African Americans from the Black medical practitioners to health scholars and ASALH encourages us to recognize the other significant roles Black people have played over the years to bring good healthcare to its people including birth workers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.
The issues Black people face in this sector date back to the time of slavery and widespread discrimination when there were “White people only” hospitals leaving Black people and other minorities to find other means.
Medical facilities and care for the Blacks were poorly funded, staffed, or plain non-existent. Hence, the saying: “When white folks catch a cold, black folks get pneumonia.”
From the 20th Century, movements have brought laws that have allowed the Black Americans to improve their healthcare, we can see from the medical frontiers of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It also highlights that a lot still needs to be done in providing more for the Black Americans health sector and discouraging racial discrimination.
It’s not difficult to see why this is the theme for Black History Month in 2022 and to celebrate,
Here are five ways we can embrace that theme this year from wherever we are.
Appreciate the health practitioners.
From our doctors to nurses, pharmacists to specialists, we’ll treat them with kindness and gratitude, they deserve it.
Appreciate those studying any medical or wellness-related course.
It’s important that we encourage and appreciate those who have taken the medical and wellness route as a profession.
Learn the history of Black History Month.
This year, we’ll be taking our time to understand the need for a month dedicated to Black history, the people who were behind the initiative, the people who are behind it now, and how much impact it has on our society.
Learn the history of the Black health Sector.
It’s not enough to jump on a hashtag, it's important we know the history of the health and wellness sector for the Black people and the current situation in our present generation.
Join conversations on Black History Month.
If your friends don’t know about this, start the conversation, you can start by sharing this post.
You can also join the month-long Virtual festival hosted by ASALH, which includes a moderated conversation on February 19 with the leaders of Black medical schools and professional organizations.
I’ll end with a quote from Muhammed Ali (the greatest), 1975 -
I am America. I am the part you won't recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me.
Tell us in the comments how you’ll be celebrating Black History month this year.