The 519 Black Collective is proud to deliver our first public statement in February, traditionally celebrated as Black History Month.
Let us ask the very prudent questions: what is being celebrated as Black history, what is being recognized? Is it our rich culture and history, or our continued struggle to survive? We the Collective reject the idea that a month is enough to tell our story, that Black history should be relegated to a cold winter month. Being Black isn't something that happens in February.
Black folks have been writing rich history with our souls, blood, and tears for centuries. As Black queer people, in particular, the fractures in our connections to ancestry — to who we are and where we come from, have both deep roots, and profound impacts. Black History Month is sheer tokenism, created to appease White guilt. The 519 Black Collective plans on working shoulder to shoulder to ensure that our voices and those of our ancestors are heard. We are power. We are magic.
In this month, we take the opportunity to talk about today, the place we find ourselves at in this moment in history. Black people have begun to wake up and realize the ‘trickery’ we have accepted for a long time. We believed we were liberated. We believed we were included. We believed we were truly emancipated. The reality is, we remain hated, misunderstood, excluded, and enslaved. Globally as Black people, we have found ourselves confronted with deep-seated racism and hatred for our very existence; our very survival as a race is simultaneously challenged and yet a testament to our fortitude and resilience.
The 519 Black Collective realizes that it begins with us, each of us, to come together, to see, to be the change we need. To our siblings – Black and Indigenous communities and people of colour; we see you, and we love what we see; a readiness to fight against the injustice we all face.
World, we are woke!
The 519 Black Collective, descendants of the African diaspora, is committed to the wellbeing and liberation of Black 2 Spirited, queer, and trans people. Using our voices and lived experiences, we hold space, confront anti-Black racism, and dismantle systemic oppression. We educate, inform advocacy, and provide leadership while restoratively grieving, healing, and affirming our Blackness. We are committed to shaping strategies within The 519 that lead to lasting change for generations to come.
If you wish to know more about The 519 Black Collective, write to TheBlackCollective@The519.org.