Considering my ancestors didn’t choose to come to America as an “ideal” place to settle, as we would say it, “we didn’t find Plymouth rock, Plymouth found us”, I’m still astounded with all the accomplishments made and barriers broken even in the midst of adversity. Because of this, I don’t overlook and bypass February as another ordinary month. I make it my business to honor, acknowledge and celebrate Black History Month in every way possible.
As a kid, my parents took me to all the family reunions, told me about my family history and exposed me to many African American movies, plays, art galleries, wax museums and music concerts. And on top of that, I spent a lot of time helping my mother research materials on various African Americans plays for our church’s black history program. By doing so, I learned so much and gained a lot of appreciation for what my people overcame and conquered.
Every February, I set out to do something unique and different for black history. But this year, I had a pleasant surprise. I couldn’t have expected this even if I tried. I got invited to a private screening of the movie, Hidden Figures, which is a story about 3 African American women who contributed to the aerospace industry.
Well, after the movie, I had the opportunity of meeting the Margot Lee Shetterly, the author of Hidden Figures. I found out that Margot’s father worked in NASA his whole career and she was very familiar with the NASA workers and the Hampton Virginia community. She was inspired to the write about the African females of NASA, featuring the friend trio, Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughn, the 1st black women making an impact in space travel. And, yes there’s more, I saw the director, producer and film markers of the movie too. Wow, what an amazing experience!
As black history month comes to a close, I can say I’ve enjoyed the journey and it’ll continue to be inspiration to overcome obstacles and fulfill my own dreams. I will love to hear your thoughts.