All We Need Is Hope. And For That We Have Each Other.

I’ll rise up.

Rise like the day.

I’ll rise up.

I’ll rise unafraid.

I’ll rise up.

And I’ll do it a thousand times again.

And I’ll rise up.

High like the waves.

I’ll rise up.

In spite of the ache.

I’ll rise up

And I’ll do it a thousand times again.

For You.

Andra Day (Full lyrics and video here)

This song has been in my head almost every time I wake up lately – which is sometimes several times a night. I can’t think of one that is more fitting for Black History month.

So many Black people, and other people of color have kept and do keep rising up and finding hope in spite of unbelievable suffering.

As a dear friend said to me recently, after reading my piece For the Women Who Were Silenced and for My Father “for a person of color sometimes there isn’t always good in the midst of pain, sometimes it’s just pain.”

Sometimes it’s just pain and yet for centuries and Black women (and men, but today I’m especially thinking of women) have kept and keep rising up one more time.

And finding hope.

All we need.

All we need is hope.

And for that we have each other

And for that we have each other.

Whatever your racial or ethnic identity, I encourage you to add this song to your playlist. And to play it as a reminder of these courageous Black women.

To honor their lives.

And to encourage and challenge yourself…

To keep finding hope.

To keep finding others to help you find hope.

And to keep rising up against the racism that persists in and around all of us.

While you’re at it, I hope you’ll also check out an older post of mine - Helping Kids To Be Who They Were Made To Be - And Growing Up Ourselves In The Process - especially if you’re a teacher or a parent whose trying to support some kids of color to keep rising up and finding their way through the challenges of life. It highlights some of the ways that unconscious biases can get in the way of our best intentions – biases about race, and other biases too.

Or just scroll to the bottom of the post to read about Amanda Berry Smith one of my favorite unknown heroines – born in slavery, limited to work as a washer-woman, she kept rising up and ended up traveling overseas, starting a school, and publishing her autobiography.

And then read this article highlighting 17 Black Women In History You Probably Didn't See In Your History Textbook.

And tell someone else about one of the women you learned about today.

Then head over to Layla F. Saad’s Good Ancestor Podcast and listen to her interview with Rachel Cargyle. Both of them do a lot of work with white women to dismantle white supremacy, but this podcast is focused on strengthening Black women especially. In this interview Rachel talks (among other things) about doing a naked photo shoot – choosing to honor her body in ways that black women’s bodies have often not been honored.

And they talk about how when Black women thrive instead of just surviving it is revolutionary.

Here’s to thriving – and equity.