Alexandra DeMarco

Happy Black History Month! This month presents an important opportunity for us to celebrate Black achievements, art, culture and history. However, it’s important to remember that this celebration is something that should be taking place throughout the year — not just during one month. Black excellence is a foundation of American culture, and this country would not exist without the countless achievements, contributions and sacrifices made by African Americans.

Additionally, it’s important for white folks to pursue anti-racism while also allowing Black voices to be heard — voices discussing any topic and especially those regarding issues that white people cannot understand. That being said, as a white woman, I will now turn this editorial over to Black voices, from those who have served as leaders and pioneers throughout the past and in the present. 

“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.” Maya Angelou, author

“A riot is the language of the unheard.” Martin Luther King, activist

“In this country American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.” Toni Morrison, author

“Disadvantaged white people are not erased by discussions of disadvantages facing people of color, just as brain cancer is not erased by talking about breast cancer. They are two different issues with two different treatments, and they require two different conversations.” Ijeoma Oluo, author

“Racism is not merely a simplistic hatred. It is, more often, broad sympathy toward some and broader skepticism toward others.” Ta-Nehisi Coates, author

“There is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.” Amanda Gorman, poet

“Black love is liberation.” Monique Melton, activist

“No matter what, we always have the power to choose hope over despair, engagement over apathy, kindness over indifference, love over hate.” Cory Booker, senator

“Virtue knows no color line ...” Ida B. Wells, activist

“You don’t have to be a man to fight for freedom. All you have to do is to be an intelligent human being.” Malcom X, activist

"Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong." Ella Fitzgerald, singer

“People don't understand the kind of fight it takes to record what you want to record the way you want to record it.” Billie Holiday, singer

"To the children of our country, regardless of your gender, our country has sent you a clear message: Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourself in a way that others might not see you, simply because they’ve never seen it before. And we will applaud you every step of the way." Kamala Harris, vice president of the United States

"I am coming down from the mountaintop to tell every young person that is poor and working class, and has been told regardless of the color of your skin that you don't belong, don't listen to them. They don't even know how they got at those seats." Michelle Obama, former first lady of the United States

“The thing about hip-hop today is it's smart, it's insightful. The way they can communicate a complex message in a very short space is remarkable.” Barack Obama, former president of the United States

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