The Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s 2024 theme for black history month is “African Americans and the Arts”. The rhythm of celebration echoes through the tapestry of dreams and aspirations. The arts become a profound expression of courage, creativity, and hard work, expressed through a variety of mediums from artists of the African diaspora.
“Pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.” These words, spoken by Maya Angelou in ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,’ serve as a guiding principle for the intersection of passion and artistic expression within the African American community. Through the arts, be it music, literature, visual arts, or performance, pursuing one’s deepest passions becomes a powerful narrative woven together by the struggles and triumphs that define the journey.
As we commemorate the achievements and contributions of African Americans, it is in the pursuit of these passions and dreams that transformative stories are written, and legacies are forged. In the words of Shonda Rhimes, “Dreams are lovely but they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change.” Engaging in our passions and expressing creativity serves as a constant reminder that, despite their beauty, dreams demand dedication, hard work, and the courage to bring them to fruition.
As we reflect on the legacies, struggles, and triumphs woven into black history, let us carry forward the inspiration derived from the intersection of dreams and hard work. Each stroke of the artist’s brush, each note of the musician’s melody, and each word crafted by the writer contributes to a narrative that transcends time. May this Black History Month inspire us to appreciate, learn, and contribute to the ever-evolving masterpiece that is the story of African American life, and history.
To delve deeper into this year’s Black History Month theme, we invite you to explore the insights provided by The Association for the Study of African American Life and History.