Although I celebrate Black History 365 days a year, Black History Month has always been special to me. Growing up I attended many Black History Month programs at my church and in my community of Newport, Arkansas. When I left Newport to attend college in northwest Arkansas, the Black History Month programs were just a little different than what I had become accustomed to, but just as informative and fun. It has never been a question of if I’m going to a Black History Month celebration, it’s just something that I always do.
Last year I was invited to speak at Arkansas State University, Newport’s Black History Month celebration (click HERE to read more). It was an experience that I will always cherish and be thankful for, but I honestly that would never happen again. Not only did I get asked to speak again for Black History Month in my hometown of Newport, Arkansas, but this time I would be speaking to school aged children.
To say I’m not a public speaker is an understatement and speaking to a class of young adults had me more nervous than speaking to adults. You know kids can be brutality honest. The subject I was asked to speak on gave me some extra confidence since I am so passionate about sharing the history and legacy of W.F. Branch High School. I also introduced them to family history which was super exciting. I wanted to plant some small seeds to encourage them that you can start researching your family history at any age, and to remind them that they were probably already family historians and didn’t even know it by sharing family photos or stories, by going through old yearbooks, or knowing about a family tradition.
Being outside of my comfort zone is something I’m getting better at slowly but surely. It always helps when I can talk about something I’m passionate about such as family history or the legacy of Branch High. I’ve said it once, and I will say it again; I never know where this journey is going to take me. But I’m so blessed to be on it.
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Trisha, you are an inspiration every day to me about so many things. It is a priveledge that I get to hear and learn every time you post something new or we talk about it. Thank you for sharing your works.