As I sit back and think about what this month means to many, I can’t help but to reflect on how far we have come as a people and as a society. Though we still have a long way to go we are still here, I am still here and for that I am grateful. Now there is much to celebrate when it comes to black history, too much for me to even attempt to write about so instead I will tell you a small piece of my history.

I turn 31 years old this month and as I reflect back on my short time in existence so far in this life, I can’t help but to notice some of the amazing people that helped me to get to this point. One of those people is my grandmother Elaine Dixon. Hands down the most humble and faithful person that I know and therefore many lean on her for advice in tough times. Not having access to the internet, television and even the public library growing up my grandmother was my history book; especially when it had anything to do with Jamaican history.

The first person to teach me about who we were as a people before the slave trade and why we are in the situation we are in. The first people to teach me about some of the greats that fought for our rights like Marcus Garvey, Fredric Douglas and Martin Luther King JR. The first person to teach me about some of the amazing black inventors and innovators that made life easier for all of us today like George Washington Carver, Garnett Morgan and many more. She taught me a lot and would always stress how far we have come as a people in tough times.

As much as I have learned from my grandmother, no lesson is as important as the lessons she gave me about taking responsibility for MY actions, doing things the right way and making sure that I treat others how I would want to be treated because “that is how you change the world.” You see, my grandmother goes by very simple values and prays daily for understanding of things she knows not. She inspires me daily to continue to build on the foundation that our ancestors have built for centuries towards a better tomorrow. A better tomorrow not just for me and my family but for all of us. For her it was never about grief, it was about knowing where we are coming from therefore we could better understand where we are going.

I am sure many of you have a grandmother or grandparent like this and if you do I encourage you to cherish them dearly because they are a massive piece of your history. “Life is simple, love one another and build a better world so you can live in harmony with each other.”