Black History Month: Honoring our victories and continuing our fight

by Twyler Jenkins, For The Chicago Defender

As we come to the close of Black History Month, we have celebrated our history, our culture and our triumphs. I love the movies, awards programs, and theatrical performances that celebrate our ancestors’ accomplishments. We truly are a culture of resilience.

If you haven’t watched the documentary “The League” (Hulu), I encourage you to do so. It shares the critical role The Chicago Defender played in sharing the news of Negro League Baseball in the 20th Century. 

Twyler L. Jenkins

It reminds me of the honor to have the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of those who came before me to write for this historical newspaper.

Black news outlets continue to be vital in celebrating, honoring, and telling the story of what happens in our community. And while this month has been focused on telling stories of victory, we also must acknowledge the fight that ensues when it comes to us.

As a Black woman, I have watched and read the news about Claudine Gay, the first Black President of Harvard University, accepting her role with pride and gratitude one day and resigning under public scrutiny and harassment soon after — all in a short amount of time. 

This month, we have all watched the attacks on Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. 

These two situations only show that Black women continue to be attacked, ridiculed and oppressed through the most challenging and abusive circumstances.

 

No matter how far we have come, our resilience, power and courage demand our stand for justice.

 

Although it hasn’t been easy to remain strong through the storms of life and the injustices of this world, we have witnessed the possibilities of the impossibilities. We have kept water-walking faith through the fights in the streets, courtrooms and the boardrooms!

From ancestors like Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth to today’s changemakers like Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson and New York Attorney General Letitia James, we are fearless women! 

What we don’t often talk about is the stress, anxiety, pressure and health challenges that can arise when we are going through these experiences. I pray that not only these women but all Black women who have been unjustly persecuted are receiving the support required to survive and thrive through these tumultuous circumstances, which are costing us our lives.

Our health statistics are greatly related to stress and anxiety. Breast cancer, fibroids, heart disease, obesity and other illnesses disproportionately impact African-American women. 

That’s why it’s imperative for us to take time for self-care, self-love and sisterhood to support our dreams and aspirations. 

As we close out February and acknowledge Black History Month, may our strength, courage and wisdom continue year-round.

  

Twyler L. Jenkins is one of the most sought-after event planners in the City of Chicago, since she founded Strategic Events Solutions in 2001.  With more than 25 years in conference management, special event planning, and registration facilitation, she is considered an expert in optimizing event profitability. Ms. Jenkins has managed to provide these core competencies services to some of the most notable nonprofit and corporate organizations in Chicagoland.  She has efficiently executed her services with excellence for The University of Chicago, The University of Chicago Medicine, McDonald’s, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Chicago Urban League, ComEd/Exelon, National Black MBA Association, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, The Chicago Guardsmen and the Emmett Till Foundation, to name a few. In addition to her event management company, in 2018 Ms. Jenkins launched the I Am That Woman Movement and Retreat in Riviera Maya, Mexico. The IATW Movement and Retreat provides holistic wellness resources, events and programs locally and internationally to women.

Ms. Jenkins serves her community with the same creative and developmental excellence. She is the co-president of the board of directors for the South Side Community Art Center. She remains relative and connected as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Meeting Professionals International, the Professional Convention Management Association, and the Alliance of Independent Meeting Managers.

 

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