Do this for Us this Black History Month

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Black Girl Magic

It’s February and that means Black History month. The par for course is usually daily antidotes about MLK or the many inventions of Black People. Which is great, we need to know these pieces of history that aren’t taught in schools. But, in the grand scheme of things that’s basic and not enough to move society forward. If you intend to fully celebrate and embrace our lives and culture I have a task for you.

Historic Photo of a whites only water fountain


Per the 2010 census this map shows the pervasive segregation in the city of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas. If you want to learn more about this I recommend “Dividing Lines” by WESA. Google it!

Black History is not history. Its today and tomorrow. Every moment in this country, good and bad, is shaped by Black History. That is the lesson I want you to teach…the whole year. If you are going to talk about “whites only” water fountains you better understand and be able to explain to your child why in 2020 there still aren’t many, if any, Black children in their classroom. Are you teaching that oppressive laws and government policy prevent generational wealth in Black families when your family purchases a new home? Or are you just going to say mommy and daddy worked really hard, setting in young minds a biased thought that others must not be doing the same?

Serena almost died after child birth when nurses refused to take her complaints seriously. Wealth does not relieve the pressures of racism. Black women can be up to 6 times more likely to die from pregnancy complications than white women.


Where are you?
‘Cause I need freedom, too
I break chains all by myself
Won’t let my freedom rot in hell
Hey! I’ma keep running
‘Cause a winner don’t quit on themselves.     Kendrick and Beyonce perform this Grammy nominated song at the BET awards.  Are you hearing the message or just humming along?

When you watch Serena play are you not only acknowledging her historic talent but also pointing out the gaping disparities that one of the most famous women in the world has to endure daily? What about when your child downloads their favorite song by Beyonce or Kendrick Lamar? Are you able to provide an understanding to the message behind the beat? What is the point of reaching historic heights and the people who don’t look like you are clapping but still are not listening.

This person is considered to be a trendsetter and fashion idol with no acknowledgement to the origins of the style ever mentioned by the media 


In 2020 children are routinely removed from school and adults lose jobs for wearing our hair the way we have worn it for thousands of years. Hairstyles are part of our identity. Women braided food in their hair(above) so they would not starve while being enslaved. Braids were also used as maps to escape the horrors of slavery on plantations down south and in the north.

These lessons are in everything. Black culture is visible in every aspect of our lives but Black People are not. Until all of us come to that understanding and actively acknowledge it we will keep repeating these crimes against humanity. And yes, these are deep conversations but kids are smart. We ask them to understand complex ideas every day. If these conversations make you uncomfortable as an adult imagine the questions your children have. Information is power and its the first step in creating a better future. Do us a favor, See Color, Understand what is Blackness (as best you can), Teach our history and Respect our place in your lives.

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Lanae is lifelong Pittsburgh resident with a brief stint in Ohio for her high school and middle school years. Most of her life she lived in Wilkinsburg but recently became a resident of the north boroughs. Lanae holds an associates’ degree in fashion merchandising and a bachelor’s degree in business management. After college, Lanae, entered the insurance and financial services industry by becoming a licensed agent and a claims specialist. Lanae also is an advocate for cloth diapering and baby wearing. Through her website she offers information and sources offering cloth diapering to all women and families in need. With two boys and 3 girls ranging in ages from 18- 2 most of her time is spent traveling to ballet lessons, band practice, and cello lessons. Also, two of her children are special needs and require various appointments and therapy. When there is time left, she enjoys writing, sewing and cooking. She is currently finishing up her first novel with more already in the works. With a love for travel, Lanae and her family have been to 5 different Caribbean islands and 2 countries in South America. So, look to hear more about the organized chaos that is traveling with 5 kids.


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