Every year we endure the same societal pressure to magically become a new person with the coming new year. We will supposedly develop new habits, new personalities, and new traits all by the stroke of midnight.
But I’d like to pose something different.
How about we embrace who we already are?
Too often human beings are faced with unhealthy expectations that push us further and further away from our true selves. This outside pressure is especially placed upon the backs of Black communities and communities of African descent.
We are too often expected to be super human, without flaws and suppressed within the confines of boxes that are completely unnatural to us. These boxes usually shrink us, encourage us to run away from our identities, our cultures, our Blackness – while pushing us to the margins of our own lives.
However, one thing I’ve noticed is that we gain strength when ever we embrace ourselves. And we always seem to find our way back. Perhaps, it’s a testimony to our creativity and will to survive.
So cheers to us, pushing forward while looking back. Cheers to us, continuing to be who we are – embracing our lives and our Blackness. No matter the century, no matter the year – it will always be New Year, Same Us.
The drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while there is a single Negro boy or girl without a chance to prove his worth. – Mary McLeod Bethune
Jessica Ann Mitchell Aiwuyor is the founder of Our Legaci Press. To reach Jessica, email her at OurLegaci@gmail.com. Follow her on Facebook at Facebook.com/JAMAiwuyor.