As we continue Black History Month, I have the privilege of sharing with you a bit from Sopha Rush.
Sopha is best known for sharing with young women who are striving daily to become more like Christ, encouraging them to pursue God wholeheartedly, in every aspect of their life.
She's a biracial black woman, pursuing Jesus and her husband, and now motherhood.
As a white mom raising a biracial black boy, I will forever bend to the voices of his community. I will sit down and I will listen and I will uplift their voices. They live in skin like his, with the beauty of melanin my transparent skin lacks. Their experience in this country is far different from mine, and I will not negate or discount that.
My hope is to continue lifting up voices of color so the rest of us white moms (and dads) raising kids of color can learn, listen, and do our best for our kids. They deserve it.
It's such a joy to share a bit of Sopha's story:
I grew up in the city, a very diverse environment so I was surrounded by different races, cultures, and people groups.
We celebrated every holiday pretty much in middle school because it was only fair, plus it was such a bonus getting to learn about other holidays and traditions others celebrated.
When it came to Black History Month, my school made sure to cerebrate it, teaching our classes about the importance of why we celebrated it, the important individuals that stood up for what was right, and so on.
Fast forward to me in Jr high, and high school, my mother moved me and my siblings to a small predominately white town of 1600 people. Can you imagine the big shift and difference it was to us. A huge culture shock.
I remember not once, did we ever celebrate Black History Month after, nor even discuss the importance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it was just a typical day for most, an extra no school day.
To them it wasn't important because they didn't understand the significance it played in our history, or they just chose to ignore it.
I remember asking my English teacher one day, why we never celebrated Black History Month, and she didn't have an answer for me. She was like well I never thought about it.
As for me, I grew up surrounded by people that didn't look like me, nor did they really understand me, which lead me to believe that I wasn't good enough. That just because I may not have colored eyes, or straight hair, or lighter skin, I wasn't important. It made me insecure in embracing who I was as a young biracial girl.
It confused me, caused me to really change who I was to make myself fit in with the girls in my school because I didn't want to stand out.
I had very low self esteem because I didn't see anyone around me celebrate having a huge curly fro, or embrace the way God made me just with a little more melanin.
I wish I grew up surrounded by more diversity during my high school years, but then again I wouldn't have had all the opportunities that I did have.
As for Black History Month, in college, it was well celebrated. It was powerful to learn more about others that changed the world, and fought for my rights.
Black History Month is more than just a month to be celebrated, it's history that should be celebrated everyday.
I know for sure when my husband and I start our family come June, we will definitely educate our child, and let them know there are people who look just like them, that have done extraordinary things. And they too can do whatever they set their mind to! Black History is important to both of us, because we wouldn't be here today, breaking bread and being in community with one another the way God intended for us to.
We've come such a long way, but we still have a long way to go. But progress in the right direction is still progress.
Connect with Sopha: