This past week, we celebrated Haitian Flag Day, Malcolm X's birthday, and memoralized the bombing of MOVE. Needless to say, all of those things have played heavily on my mind as of late.
There would be little freedom in the United States if not for the impact of the Haitian Revolution on chattel slavery everywhere. The Haitian Revolution scared the US plantocracy. Never before had they seen Black resistance on such a wide-spread scale. As a result, slavery as a wholesale practice became threatened as fears of Black liberation affected politicians--especially those desirous of an end to the horrific practice.
Haitian Flag Day, May 18, is celebrated to give honor to those who actively fought to rid the island--and eventually other areas--of slavery. May 19, we celebrate the birthday of Malcolm X who helped us see what incredible self-reliance, internal discipline, and profound love for our people looks like.
Malcolm's self work and impact on our communities have shaped how many of us have grown to see ourselves. His memory, like our memory of Haitian revolutionaries, can help us learn to take care of ourselves a bit differently. In both cases, we see how love for a community can come with difficulties, but can also imbue us with the kind of sustenance that can keep us and make us bold.
Self Care can make us resilient. Haitian Flag Day and Malcolm X Day prove it to us. The bombing of MOVE, on May 13, 1985 is the kind of horror that we must protect ourselves from. On that day, the city of Philadelphia destroyed the lives of Black folk who were in spaces others felt they were not entitled to.
It's not usual for Black lives to be seen as inconviently disruptive to folks who don't always see us as human. Nonetheless, the resistance of our ancestors demonstrates that even the worst attempts to cease our existence are useless. Our people, even in the face of tragedy, prove our abilities to thrive.
I hope that we can all internalize this.