Just a few days left of Black History Month here in the UK!!!
But what does this mean to me? Growing up, I don't ever remember knowing that it was Black History Month. It was only in the last 5-8 years that I became really aware of Black History and how black people have influenced society. Only now do I appreciate what a big thing it was for Rosa Parks to refuse to give up her seat, how powerful Martin Luther's 'I have a dream' speech was...and that Mary Seacole was as a big a deal as Florence Nightingale! It makes me think, which people alive today will become influential in the 'black history' that we are writing every day? Who will our great great Grandchildren know about... who should they know about?
Here are some of the people who have influenced me lately...
She alone got me inteested in literature, when little else could. 'From I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings' to 'Letter to my Daughter', you just have to love her words.. the relevance...the rawness....the strength and the wisdom... love her!
Barack and Michelle Obama
Whenever I see this beautiful black couple on TV, I feel really warm inside. I was convinced that Barack would not be voted to represent America, but he was. I remember when the votes were counted. I felt a huge sense of shock, pride, glee even! It
felt feels like a very big deal to me and it is. This will no doubt make it into the history books... Aside from the politics of it all, I LOVE seeing a positive image of a black woman on TV. I love that the other Mrs O (Michelle!) doesn't have to be singing, dancing, running or making jokes for the world to like her. Not only does every style choice she makes result in the Michelle Obama Effect but she is using her brain, her heart and supporting her man. Simply, I just find her amazing to look at and listen to. I grew up with 'Claire Huxtable' from the Cosby Show. Little Miss O has Michelle Obama - and is she is real!!! That makes me feel so pleased to be raising a child in 2010.
Dr Kevin Fenton
He is the director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) at the CDC in the US. This wont mean much to most people, but as I am currently in this line of work, he's extremely inspirational for me...he's really carved a great career for himself and I would love to follow in his footsteps.