How to have a Black history year - ways to rest, recharge and connect with your identity


Posted on: 9 October 2020 by Mara Livermore in 2020 posts


Woman holding her face and looking up
Image: Kevin Kosi from nappy.co

It's a Black Radical Present. Will you like how history remembers you?

If you are Black, your identity is your history and also your future. Locked within you is a story that millions of ancestors fought to make sure it exists today.

You don't have to do it for anyone other than you. It doesn't have to be grand, or make good content. Like all the leaders, the icons, and the exceptional people we know like Rosa Parks and Cecile Fatiman, the hard work was done in private, in the dark moments of strife, struggle with knowing their heart says one thing and the world says another.

Freedom is never given. It must always be taken. It's actually meant to be a gentler process than it is currently, and if not gentler, at least more natural.

The ebb and flow of seasons, the push and pull of plants in our landscape, the give and take is prescribed. Our current situation is because those who take have not yet learned to give back. A collective sin can only be solved by a collective atonement and we are far far off that. 

After October, when Black History Month is over, the world will still be violent and bewildering in places. And as such, knowing your history, will still be important.

For Black people, what follows next is an offering to keeping your head clear and connected. 

One: Rest 

Black people have paid their energetic dues to the system of capitalism. Your rest has been earnt a thousand times over.

Ask yourself:

What activities fill my cup and which empty it?

What environments best make me happy?

Am I tired? 

Two: Love

On yourself first and foremost. It’s beautiful to share your self with the world but you owe your first duty of care to yourself.

Look in the mirror and tell yourself:

That you are beautiful.

That you are unstoppable.

That you are so worthy and deserving of [insert desire]. 

Three: Move

Move out of situations that don’t serve you. 

Practice saying

“I don’t like that so I’m leaving now.”

“I’ve learned a lot from my time with you, but do not feel the need to continue here.”

“You can come back when you respect my boundaries/time/emotions.” [Delete as appropriate]. 

Four: Dance

Stagnant energy, past trauma makes a home for itself in the body. Identify the sounds that get you moving.

Go for walks.

Roll your wrists.

Release emotions if you feel the need to. When we practice number four this five is essential otherwise we are shaking things up just to put them back down again.

Five: Cry

Find safe spaces to vent.

Find communities that understand you implicitly.

Check in with yourself when you are having emotions using something like this: emotion wheel

Six: Breathe

Like right now. Open up your lungs and take five deeep breaths in and out. 

Repeat whenever you can. 

Seven: Honour your ancestors 

You are here because of all the people who came before you who willed it.

Disrespecting yourself by letting others take the **** or letting negative self talk get you down is dishonouring them. They didn’t go through everything they have to have you here thinking you are less than.

Talk to them.

Make space for them.

Talk kindly and make space for yourself.

 

All of the above. 

Repeat whenever you can.

 

 

About Mara

Mara is an activist, consultant and researcher interested in helping people overcome barriers and challenging those barriers at a structural and systemic level.

Mara deals in personal, entrepreneurial and organisational transformation helping people live their best lives.

As a researcher, her focus is the role of African Traditional Religions in historical anti-slavery resistance, and their potential to support rehabilitation of survivors of modern slavery.

For more information about Mara and the resources she produces, head to oshuwe.org and subscribe

 

Discover more

Explore more blogs and stories for Black History Month.

Study history at the University of Liverpool.