February is always a festive month for me, it feeds my entire soul! The display of colorful signs; powerful posters and quotes; the commencement of children; families and communities of color coming together to discuss, learn more and remember all the G.O.A.T.s (Greatest Of All Time) who have come before us... it's an intentional time of year, that allows us to ignite admiration, reflection and celebration for the countless contributions and enrichment Black People have shared with the world. As an unapologetically, loud and proud, bold, brilliant and beautiful Black/African American person, I recognize that celebrating Black History is an all-year round season and whether you are kinfolk and/or skinfolks, this month welcomes everyone from everywhere to participate in the celebration with an open heart, mind and spirit.
Images from USF's speaker series with Dr. Jones & Sterling K. Brown and the Dreaming Forward 2024 convening
This year’s Black History Month had an especially awesome kickoff for me. First, I attended the San Francisco Human Rights Commission’s "Dreaming Forward" third annual celebration of the Dream Keeper Initiative (DKI) that provided more than sixty million dollars annually in funding for Black/African American identified people and projects in San Francisco. I was also a special guest at the University of San Francisco’s Silk Speaker Series where author, speech writer for Dr. King and Civil Rights Attorney, Dr. Clarence Jones and Oscar-nominated, SAG Award winner actor Sterling K. Brown joined forces for a leadership and legacy conversation that was all about the “pursuit of Black Excellence.”
As an SF native, I was overjoyed to learn that DKI has supported more than 80 community organizations with the specified goal of growing the financial health and economic wellbeing of Black people. The DKI conference and the conversation with Dr. Jones and Sterling K. Brown were filled with joy, hope, the pursuit of Black excellence and how the DREAMS of Black people are now being REALIZED. From art, food, songs, performances and wine makers to reflecting on "Harlem Of The West" and the importance of farming and feeding our people for free. These two events were a wonderful way to start the month and I look forward to participating in more Black events, highlighting and introducing other amazing Black people, projects and performances throughout the month.
By now, you can probably figure out which themes will be elevated this year during our Faithful Fools Black History Month blog series. I will be writing about Black Celebration, Black Liberation and Black Artistry and look forward to sharing more personal testimonies and storytelling with you all.
In Joy, Peace and Celebration of all things Black,
Silena aka Queen of the Universe