This year, Black History Month holds special significance.

2019 marks 400 years since some of the first enslaved Africans — all of whom were subjected to horrendous conditions and many who didn’t survive them —  arrived on ships to Jamestown Colony in Virginia in 1619.

This marked the beginning of Black life in America.

As we look back on the last four centuries, we must recognize the tireless journey Black people have faced in a country that saw and treated us as less than human — and still does. We must pay homage to the slaves who were lynched, brutally beaten, separated from their families and endured horrific conditions to build the foundation of a country that never loved them. We must acknowledge the tireless work of freedom fighters who fought for true liberation because they knew emancipation never meant true equality. We must reflect on the lives — both past and present — that were lost to brutal acts of hatred fueled by racism. And we must give praise to the legacy of our ancestors who were left out of history books but battled the beast of overt and systemic racism to make life better for the generations that came after them — both for the families they built and the Black families who have since immigrated to America and call this country home.

It is undeniable that Black history has defined our Black present — and we must honor that. Always, in all ways.

That’s why this February, we at Blavity, Inc. are reflecting on how Black History Made Us.

It has made us bold, resilient and strong beyond belief. It has made us feel angry, motivated and ready for more change. And, perhaps most importantly, it has fueled us to fight for access and mobility in a country that continually fails to see our full humanity and is determined to hold us back.

It is our duty to make our ancestors proud; to continue to fight against the systemic ways we are continuously marginalized and misrepresented; and to forge ahead to strive for the liberation we were promised by supporting each other, our businesses and our community.

That’s what we are committed to doing each day at Blavity, Inc., and especially during February.

Watch the video below to see some of the people at Blavity, Inc. share how they believe Black history has made us feel and tell us in the comments:

How has YOUR Black history made you feel?

Happy Black History Month, fam.

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