Ah Black History Month….
I have just returned from a vacation in Barbados with my family. There is an election going on and one of the newspaper articles while we were there was about why there were no White people running this time.
In contrast, on our first day back I was listening to G98 on the radio in the car and heard one of their Black History Moments. These are meant to highlight a Black person and their achievements in the present or in history. That day it was about the first Black female preacher in Ontario.
It made me think: we can tell a group has been marginalized when we talk about firsts. When was the last time you heard “the first man to…” or “the first white person who….”.
Um, never. When these occur it’s usually just about the accomplishment, but not with a caveat about the person’s identity.
Subtle messages like these, if we listen closely, tell us a lot about where we are at as a society and how much further we have to go.
copyright 2013 Annemarie Shrouder
Speaker, Writer and Facilitator on issues of Diversity and Inclusion