Proud to be
This year’s Black History Month is based on the theme, ‘Proud to Be.’ This theme is about the importance of engaging in history and sharing the richness of your culture.
Monica McGregor, Senior Support Worker at Choice Support, tells us how looking to our historical heroes can inspire us to continue a legacy of justice and equality.
“My name is Monica, and my origin is from the Ashanti tribe in Western Africa. My ancestors were sold into slavery and sent across the Atlantic to Jamaica where they were sold to a plantation. My hero is Nanny of the Maroons who led a rebellion against slavery. Nanny was known as an outstanding military leader who stood as a symbol for unity and strength during a time of crisis. Her spirit of freedom was so great that in 1739, she knew that a treaty signed with Britain, it was yet another form of subjugation. The principles were not right in her opinion.
I see Nanny as my role model, someone who fought for what she believed in. She taught her people to be brave and courageous. For over 30 years, Nanny fed over 800 slaves and helped them to resettle in the Maroon community. Nanny died in 1733 and remains one of Jamaica’s national heroes. I live in her legacy and have taught my children to be respectful, selfless and to stand up to anything that life throws at them. I encourage them to treat people equally and not to conform to society’s expectations.”
Monica’s story reminds us of the importance of engaging with history and sharing stories from our own cultures. We celebrate Black History Month to learn, to understand, and to know that challenging injustice and making change is possible.
Our CEO Sarah Maguire says: “Our history is full of Black men and women who stood up for what they believed in, people who made it possible for us to call out discrimination and strive for a fair and just society. Don’t wait until October each year to fill in your missing bits of our history.”