Written by UNICEF Canada Youth Advocate Blanche, 24, British Columbia 

A year ago, I wrote about Black History being my story. A story of resilience and of hope for the future. As I look back, I cannot help but smile at the fact that many have resonated with my story, from all backgrounds.

This year, my thoughts circulate around the meaning of Black Excellence. When I think of Black excellence, I am reminded of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his audacity to dream. I think about Harriet Tubman and her endurance to lead others to freedom. I think about my parents and the courage they had to come to an unknown place. In the same way, I think about myself and how I became the woman I am today.

Beauty from ashes. Tenacity from trials. My excellence was both passed down to me and yet also learned behaviour. It is a mantle I proudly wear on my back, the weight of its magnificence lifting me above the despair of my ancestors. It is the tapestry of victories and losses, creating a masterpiece of what is the story we now read. Hiding the past misery behind the current joy of freedom.

Wow. Just look around. Black excellence is everywhere. Dr. King’s dream becoming a reality. Harriet Tubman’s efforts not being in vain. There is still more work to do, but I just want to breathe in the air of greatness. Focusing on brilliance and aspiration for the future generations.

Black Excellence. A celebration of legacy and an establishment of the future.