Introducing Whitney Carter-Allen! Whitney is the new Metamorphosis Project Specialist at OUTMemphis, and we are thrilled to have her as a part of the team– especially for the Metamorphosis Project. For this week’s Black History Month Highlight we asked Whitney, “What does Black History Month Mean to You?”. Get to know Whitney by reading her thoughts and checking out her Staff Bio.
What Black History Month Means To Me
Q: What Does Black History Month mean to you?
A: “365 days out of the year in school specifically we are taught about the same people over and over again. And I feel like in today’s time, black people are not just taking February anymore. We are taking every day of the year. February is our Platform, but this is who we are every day. I’m going to teach about my history every day just like I’ve had to learn about others’ history but my own every single day in school. I thank America for Black History Month because it empowered my community. We are learning to love ourselves and become more inquisitive about our past. We are teaching the world that melanin is beautiful, our history is undeniable, and we are here.”
“My biggest quote that I use all of the time is, ‘You have to teach people how to treat you’.”
Q: What do you think is most significant about Black History Month?
A: “Evolution of the community’s self-worth. I feel like we’re in a time where people are embracing their melanin and they’re unapologetic for it. For a long time, we felt ashamed of being who we are and of our culture. For years black people felt like in order to feel important we had to adapt to the mainstream culture and now we’re learning to embrace our own.”
“To me, that means wearing my hair in a way that is acceptable to me, not just acceptable to society. The way that I dress. The way I see myself in the mirror and the words I tell myself. As I’ve grown older I’ve realized that it is my responsibility as a Black female and as a member of the LGBTQ+ Community to teach myself about my history. It may seem like a cliché, but “knowledge is power.”