February, Black History Month, may have come to a close, but as we all know, Black history is something that is to celebrated year-round, not only during the second month of the calendar year.
Last week, the Minnesota Lynx’s Rebekkah Brunson gave her thoughts on what celebrating her history, culture, and heritage means to her in a special feature for The Players’ Tribune.
When you look at Black History Month, I think that the month is here because there has been some type of slighting in the teaching of history.
What she means by that is while Black history may be something that is taught, learned, and studied, there are a lot of glaring omissions that may not always be found in the pages of a high school United States history textbook. She added a moving, personal touch to her words by mentioning how she was shaped greatly by the influences of two women in her family.
Well, I was raised by two extremely strong women, my grandmother and my mother. As far as I know, the values that I have started there.
Brunson referred to her grandmother as “courageous” and said while she was growing up, there was also room for learning and “intellectual conversation.” She then reflected on an incident her grandmother was involved in when she was a teenager protesting.
She was a student and there were some Nazi police officers that were in her neighborhood. She was protesting and she was out there, she was screaming and yelling and saying that they didn’t deserve to be there and that these students just wanted to go to school.
Brunson said the officer shot at her grandmother and she was sentenced to being hung, but was saved by American soldiers that marched in and liberated where her grandmother was living.
So, if I look at my mom and I look at my grandmother then, throughout all of the stories that they tell me, throughout seeing the character that they have, they showed me that it’s not right to be silent when you see something that isn’t fair.
The older I get, the more I grow, I really learn and understand the importance of them.
Brunson also elaborated on the idea of The American Dream and how the United States is supposed to live up to an idea of welcoming all who wish to arrive, but how those ideals are under fire.
We’re a place that is supposed to have open arms for people who want to come here and make their life better. And that’s exactly what my grandmother was given the opportunity to do. Come here, find love, find work, find happiness, and find a better life than she had.
The lesson that she learned from her family, she says, was to love and respect people for what is on the inside, not the outside. Brunson described her family as having all different colors and skin complexions and that there would be disappointment from today’s coarse, caustic rhetoric on immigration.
We’re a country that was built on immigrants and I think that now we feel like, for some odd reason, that we’ve reached our quota and we don’t want to continue to give people the dream that this country was built on.
Brunson closed her remarks to The Players’ Tribune by saying she aims to be someone that can inspire both young women and young men in their communities to always stay “true to who they are” and “true to themselves.”
Inclusion is beautiful. Equality is beautiful. Acceptance is beautiful. All of those things that really are built around the character of people.
(Video Credit: The Players’ Tribune)