Raised in a country filled with black people, I have never really identified myself based on race, hence, I have never thought of being black as a subject for glorification. I have so witnessed a great display of agility and strength that I began to see it as an identity and not as something special. This mindset that I had, I would say was not only fueled by my environment because as a young child who was new to the internet, I never saw the achievements of black people being celebrated online. The only time I saw the ‘strength’ of black people being talked about, was the strength that is birthed by inhumanity and suffering that could have -and still can- be avoided and this should not be.

There is more to us than a history of slavery, racism, colonialism, psychological torture, and injustice. Although Black Lives Matter was propounded by the death of black people starting with the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and Black History Month is a special time to remember the victims, it also serves as an avenue to celebrate black people who have attained exceptional heights and this is very important to me as it is proof that regardless of our ‘disturbing’ history and the injustice that happens even currently, we are still making a name for ourselves in the world, making giant strides in every sector.

The strength that I once perceived as normal, I must say, is not normal but extraordinary, a special gift from God to us that must not be underrated or shoved under the umbrellas of racism. It is, honestly, not possible to eliminate racism, but it is possible to live above and beyond it, achieving our goals regardless, breaking world records, and giving those who have died for the cause a reason to smile down on us.


Lynn Oparaji

Photo Credit: Lynn Oparaji