WRITTEN BY SONYA HARRIS

You’re invited ... you dreamer, you.

Once known as Negro history week, and not to be reduced to “guilt trip month,”Black History Month wasn’t designed to make those who aren’t “BLACK” feel awkward or unnerved. Contrary to what some media outlets and companies suggests, it is part American history month as well. (The same ones who are notorious for their lack of diversity in size, color and shape of women)

Honestly, it is a celebration! It’s a celebration of the American populace that contributed great moments in the course of human history! ...and not just to Youtube video rants, no offense ;)

Individuals of color who made a positive mark on humanity, often during turbulent times in history, are worth celebrating. Most parties are meant to highlight and rejoice in the awesomeness of the subject. FYI, this isn’t an exclusive party. It’s not just for the cool kids, or the nerds, or the theorists and revolutionaries -- although they are all invited. Black History Month is for all who have dreams to change their world: those that need the reminders and examples of remarkable individuals who changed not only their personal world, but the world as a whole. This is a month for revolutionaries and visionaries, and proof that being a woman and having vision and drive shouldn't be confused for gross arrogance and unorganized revolts and insolence. It’s a celebration and gift to all of us.

We at Afrobeatnik value and love diversity, and a month (one that only has 28 days) simply isn’t enough time to celebrate and discuss the amazing women in history.

If you wanted a formal invitation to join in on the celebration of Black History Month, here it is: you’re invited! Don’t worry about how you’re dressed, or if you’ll stand out, or what knowledgable hors d'oeuvres to bring to the table.The only gift you need to bring is an open mind and curious nature to learn how to love and appreciate those of a darker skin hue. Simple. To appreciate people who grew up in a time that didn’t promote dreams coming true for them.

We wanted to highlight a few great women in history who continue to inspire us not only with their incredibly courageous actions, but also with the motivation behind those actions.Their hopes or the forced diffusion of those hopes that compelled them into action.

Because we at Afrobeatnik hope to break the barriers that cause society to hold harmful stereotypes and create division, We tip our hats to and take notes on those who broke some of those barriers. It’s wonderful to have a month to reflect on the best optimists in human history and learn a few things.


Bessie Coleman
First Female African American Pilot -- that’s kind of a big deal! Oh, and first American to hold an international pilot’s license. Despite having to walk six miles a day to her segregated school, having to interrupt her studies to harvest cotton, and being rejected from a flying school in America for being black and a woman, she travelled to Paris to make her dreams come true.

'“I refuse to take 'No' for an answer.”

'“I refuse to take 'No' for an answer.”

Lesson learned? No matter the distance or hurdles, just soar high above them!

Wears pilot coat...like a boss!


Maya Angelou
How do you describe Maya Angelou? During her lifetime, she was a journalist, poet, activist, actor, director, nightclub dancer, and even pimp (seriously). She was also involved in the civil rights movement alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

Lesson Learned? I know why the caged bird sings...and it has a strong voice.

Wears pearls and a smile like it ain’t no thang.


Nina Simone
A prominent singer and musician also known for her involvement  in the civil rights movement, her music was very influential when fighting for equal rights in the U.S.

"I'm a real rebel with a cause."

"I'm a real rebel with a cause."

Lesson Learned? I sing the blues, but I live the cause...

Wears iconic head wrap…before Erykah Badu. :)


Michelle Obama
History books will record her as the first African American First Lady, but she is so much more! Being a Harvard Law School graduate and a practiced corporate lawyer, Michelle learned and excelled through hard work and perseverance despite having parents who didn’t attend university. She also spends her time helping those who come from economically challenged backgrounds similar to hers.

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world's problems at once, but don't ever underestimate the importance you can have, because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world's problems at once, but don't ever underestimate the importance you can have, because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”

Lesson learned? You don’t have to participate in Horizontal Oppression to get ahead, when you shine, you want others to shine as well.

Wears beautiful red gown and looks vibrantly glowing at age 50.

Gloria Steinem and Pamela Hughes

Gloria Steinem and Pamela Hughes

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