It is Black History Month! While we are busy celebrating some amazing and famous people in history, I chose to make it a point to celebrate a few important people in my life who I have learned so much from.
My paternal grandmother inspires me. Every time I have a conversation with my grandmother, I feel that anything is possible. She has a way of making all of her nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren feel special. I am sure part of this comes from knowing the difficulties of raising four children herself. My grandmother has never missed a birthday, she has a close relationship to my mother, and I feel like I have just been “pep-talked” after each conversation.
My maternal grandmother (Granny):
Granny reminds me how hard my people have worked. Granny was born and raise in a tiny town in South Carolina named Pamplico. 2011 population: 1,236. Despite living in a small, tight-knit community, Granny has many stories of injustice. She once told me a story about her walk to school. During this time, blacks went to separate schools and had separate buses. Every day during her walk, the bus with the whites would drive past them. Some of them would throw rocks at her while she tried to go to school. My granny reminds me that my ancestors, my family and others in the black community worked hard so that I can go after all of my dreams.
If my grandmother inspires me, and my granny reminds me, then I have to say my mother is a fusion of the two. She is a role model of the person I want to be. My mother left the tiny town of Pamplico at age 18 and joined the military. She got married and had two kids before the age of 30. She retired from the military at the young age of 38. Afterward, my mother worked her butt off to get her dream job inside the Pentagon! That was not enough for my mom. She knew she wanted to do more so she decided to serve our country in a civilian manner and took a job in Afghanistan! My mother is a product of what all the civil rights activists fought for. Nothing is impossible for my mother.
Hopefully, I too will be a black historymaker in someone’s eyes. Each time I want to procrastinate or feel the work is too much, I remind myself of these three wonderful women. I remind myself that they accomplished all their dreams in much harsher time periods and anything is possible if I continue to work hard for my dreams.