This Hero Taught Us It's OK To Love Ourselves
Black people have been taught to hate ourselves for centuries.
Today we know that Black is beautiful, though this doesn’t mean colorism or discrimination based on Black features are just in the past.
But not long ago, even the idea that Black people could have ANY kind of positive self-image was controversial!
Though “Black is beautiful” took off during the Civil Rights Movement, its origin goes way back - to John S. Rock, a 19th-century educator, doctor, and lawyer who was also the first Black person to be admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In a powerful speech in 1858, he laid the groundwork for self-determination and self-love movements that would flourish almost a century later:
“I would have you understand, that I not only love my race, but am pleased with my color,” Rock stated, among other encouragements - for Black people to support each other as well as persevere in the fight for liberation.
The mantle was taken up by many during the Civil Rights movement, including Malcolm X, Steve Biko, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Loving ourselves and our people, and recognizing that our Blackness is beautiful, is essential to our liberation!
Cheers to John S. Rock for keeping it real 150 years ago, and to all those who continue to speak the truth - Black has ALWAYS been beautiful!
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