What does Black History Month (February) have to do with holistic health?
First, let’s review what it is all about.
This year’s theme is “African Americans in Times of War.” This year’s events document the 100th anniversary of the end of the first world war and highlight the roles that Blacks have played in times of war.
In general, we use February to recall the very important contributions that African Americans have made throughout America’s history.
It is a critical part of our great nation’s tradition of highlighting and remembering meaningful events, inventions, etc.
This month every year has become a time to remember the struggles and challenges that African Americans have faced in the past and continue to face to this day.
Remembering the “ups” and “downs” helps to persevere in the push forward for equal rights and opportunities and serves as an inspiration for young people of all backgrounds and cultures.
Communities are thus engaged to reflect, openly dialogue, and offer education. Advocacy initiatives are encouraged and abound. Younger African Americans may not be as aware of the many sacrifices and struggles that occurred in previous times.
Together – we are one nation under God. We are admonished to be indivisible. That struggle, however, remains in some areas.
Holistic health of course covers all facets of human functioning. Mental health is an important part of this. Learning about, identifying, and embracing one’s cultural heritage produces people who are better adjusted emotionally, cognitively, physically, and spiritually.
So, whether you are African American, Jewish, Hispanic, or have roots in another of the many wonderful cultures which populate the American landscape, love yourself enough to embrace all that you are.
Stand up and be proud of yourself and your heritage – and you will be significantly healthier!