I don’t know a person on the planet who hasn’t been through the wringer over the last year. If you are a regular human being, which by unofficial definition is about 99% of us, the weight of the world has been heavier than usual. For Black folks, the unrelenting heft has been particularly crushing. I’ll refrain from granular description, but we all saw the nauseating footage of George Floyd’s final moments last summer. It was debilitating to watch the first time, then through incessant social media and network television playback, it became an inescapable trauma, one that we had felt settle into our skin before, but this time the wound wouldn’t weave itself back into healing. The breaking of bone could not be mended on its own. 

Almost instantaneously, we mobilized. We took to the streets and showed up for George Floyd. And Tony McDade. And Breonna Taylor. And Ahmaud Arbery. And Trayvon Martin. And, and, and. We are still fighting for them, for ourselves, for our past, and for our future. That’s a lot to lay at the feet of a people. It can be utterly exhausting. 

But Black joy is self-preservation. It is a moment of reprieve; the sitting down to shine the armor and sharpen the blade before continuing the fight. This Black History Month, Black Americans owe it to ourselves to make space and time to experience jubilance. We cannot be ready for what’s to come without resting our weary heads. So this February, let’s celebrate the miracle of us.

Miracles happen all the time. We’re here, aren’t we?”

Marilyn Nelson