Capital City is Black Resistance
Black Resistance is the theme of Black History Month 2023, as determined by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).
"African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogroms, and police killings since our arrival upon these shores," states the ASALH website. Resistance can be found in many areas — protest, faith, education, healthcare, music, and sports, just to name a few.
One example of a Capital City community member who has been consciously engaged in Black Resistance is Lower School Literacy Specialist Brittney Henderson.
Ms. Henderson is a local activist and organizer for DC’s Black Liberation movement.
"Black Resistance is Black joy. A context that has informed my belief derived in what many people may think of as an unlikely place: protesting. Protesting is often confused as solely direct action against police brutality or a call for extreme change that, in reality, most of the purpose is to educate, celebrate, and bring awareness to human lives and rights. During my time as an active protest leader, organizer, radical book club leader, and antiracist educator beyond the walls of our school building for the last three years, I learned that activism, especially in the form of protest, isn't just a platform for anger, grief, sadness, and/or a call for drastic change. Rather it is dancing, singing, music, smiling, READING, harm reduction through transformative justice, and cultivating community with everyone no matter what ‘side,’ career path, socioeconomic status, race, global context, and many other varying intersections that make up human beings. A smile disarms a frown. Dancing disrupts division. Reading emancipates minds. Black joy is centering and honoring the experiences of all Black people through their own words. It is not ‘being a voice,’ it is passing the mic and listening. Black Resistance through Black joy is ultimately the audacity for Black people to thrive beyond the confines of what dominant culture strives to enclose and stereotype us in," Ms. Henderson shared.
In honor of the theme of Black Resistance, a bulletin board was displayed at our annual Black History Month Celebration on February 23 and we asked the community to write what Black Resistance means to them. Here are some of the responses.