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The Greyhound

Black History Month: a post-2020 perspective


From police brutality to all of the other injustices that led to endless protesting, 2020 became one of many “poster years” for racial injustice in the United States. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) hashtag was trending constantly, and protests, both violent and peaceful, took place across the country after the devastating murders of black citizens. My heart ached as I watched George Floyd take his last breath on a street in Minneapolis. Tears came to my eyes as I read the story of Ahmaud Arbery who was murdered while out for a jog. I empathize with the family of young Breonna Taylor, who never got to fulfill her dream of pursuing a career in healthcare. The most devastating thing about these tragedies is that they were not the first, and if things do not change, I fear they will not be the last.

During my childhood, Black History Month was one of the most important and celebratory months of the year. Children from every school in my hometown would dress in African attire, recite famous speeches and poems from historical figures like Maya Angelou and Malcolm X, and take the time to remember the struggles black people have endured and how much they have contributed to society. However, after reflecting on the past year, my perspective on Black History Month as a whole has become less celebratory and more mournful. Too many innocent lives were lost at the hands of some of those who swore to serve and protect. Too many people felt the need to play the role of judge, jury, and executioner without a second thought as to how their impulsive decisions would affect others long-term.

Throughout this month, I have been asking myself one important question: “How do we move onto a better and brighter future?” I think it starts with recognizing the racial injustice that is present within America, instead of turning a blind eye. Being careful not to group people together because of the color of their skin or believe stereotypes is very important. Everyone has unique experiences that make them who they are, and they should not be judged by their outward appearance. Making a conscious effort to value everyone, no matter where they come from, is also essential. We are all human beings and everyone deserves to be treated equally.

Last year was particularly challenging and very historic. There were many highs and lows. I am proud that we have elected Kamala Harris to be the first female, African American, and Asian American Vice President of the United States. This is a big step in the direction of ensuring that representation has a role in democracy. Unfortunately, we also lost many influential figures in 2020 across industries. Basketball player Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi Bryant, famous actor Chadwick Boseman, and civil rights activist John Lewis are just a few of the black influencers whose deaths lie heavy on the hearts of people all over the world.

As I reflect on the issues of racial injustice we have faced in the U.S., I am disappointed but also hopeful. While we have come a long way as far as abolishing slavery and promoting integration, we still have a long way to go to lessen and even eradicate the power and influence that racism has on this country. I believe that understanding how words, actions, and stereotypes create struggles for people in this country, and making an active effort to value everyone despite their appearance and background, will create a better future for humanity. During this Black History Month, I remember those who have suffered and celebrate the lives of those who have fought hard to create an improved version of America, one that is inclusive and dedicated to positively impacting the lives of those who call this country their home.

For more information on how you can contribute to combating racial injustice, visit

Featured Image courtesy of Eye for Ebony via Unsplash

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Black History Month: a post-2020 perspective