I saw a meme going around at the end of last month that caught my eye — “January was tough year but we made it.” The start of the year was a tough for a lot of people, particularly for Federal workers. A lot of that excitement around the “fresh start” of the new year was short lived for a lot of us, for reasons beyond our control. It’s been refreshing to see that energy being carried over into this month. February has become the new January. The resilience, creativity, faith, community and patience that saw many through the challenges of January has manifested a new sense of beginning around this month.
I think that energy is such a great tribute to the spirit of Black History Month. This being the time of annual observance, where a number of countries pay homage to the people, history, events, accomplishments of the African diaspora. You want to talk about resilience, creativity and faith and community? My season 2 guest, Deborah Goodwin, and I were talking about the lack of diversity in the film industry. During out conversation she said something resonated and speaks so much to the spirit of this month and the battles that continue: “If things aren’t going well, you don’t just bail. You dig deeper and you find value in what you’re experiencing and also what you can create for other people.” I think about the black doctors that came before me — who endured far beyond what I can even begin to imagine. Those who were denied access to education, entry to medical school, blocked from practicing medicine. Those whose works were stolen without regard, recognition or credit. They pushed through — day after day, fought for their truth and paved the way for a Dr. Seku Gathers.
The truth hasn’t been an easy fight for most and it continues to be a difficult battle for many. Through it all, it’s important to keep on trucking and working hard for what’s important to you. You never know who you just may be clearing a path for because the truth will set you (and all of us) free…if you let it.