There was tweet through my timeline about a year and a half ago about reading. Through the timeline of the activist DeRay, he asked this question:
“What generation reader are you?”
This means how many generations of your line are literate. This was by no means a racist question, but a question that forced us to think about this concept of reading, education and one of the causes dear to my heart–literacy. As I thought about this question, I had to admit that I am a second or third generation reader. This means I can read, my parents could read, and my grandparents could read. This was heartbreaking to admit.
From that experience, imagine my elation when the announcement of the building of what the melaninated call simply and with all love, The Black History Museum. In this museum, is us. From 1619 to the inauguration of Our Beloved #44. I even found out that my pro-Us/SuperBlack Godmother went to its Opening and Dedication ceremony to see her name on a brick (she was one of the first initial donors–because of course she was!).
Black History is more than what is recorded, dear Torches. It is the everyday joy and struggle that comes with this journey called ‘being Black.’ But there is something about a place where all of US can do, and see ALL of us. I am noted to have called Ebony and JET the photo album of the Culture. The thing is, it just drove home the question of what Deray McKesson asked on his timeline.
What generation reader are you?
This drove home this concept of preservation. The concept of remembering, which allowed me to contemplate what it means it preserve our history. It goes deeper than books and pictures, Torches. It goes to the Facebook Groups that show missing relatives. The asking of long-forgotten recipes from living relatives or finding it on-line. It is in photographs and stories or music! It is in the finding of journals and diaries or retelling of family histories!
It is the appreciation of those of us along this journey of Blackness whom are Afro-Latinx, Creole, Seminole, Island descendants or Gullah Geeche! Preservation of US is made 365 as well. We make history, we are history, and we are getting the future ready for US!
Remember where you come from so you can see clear where you have to get it.
[top image from Smithsonian,