CRCC’s Rev. Dr. Najuma Smith-Pollard was interviewed on ABC7 News about Black History Month. “It’s about having the mindset of we and us, not just me and myself alone,” Smith-Pollard said. “Black History Month gives us the opportunity to focus [on that idea], but it should happen throughout the year.”
Watch the interview:
On this year’s Black History Month theme of health and wellness:
One of the things we have to recognize is that health happens within the context of race and racism. And what the pandemic did, it widen the gap in those issues. And so what we are seeing still is how the pandemic adversely impacted Black and Latinx communities. … The challenges that we saw in the last couple of years will impact our children over the next several years.
On supporting Black businesses:
All of us are at some point creatures of habit. We have our stores that we enjoy going to, certain items to purchase. Why not make a Black business your go-to for particular items, for particular foods. Also, in the age of social media, it doesn’t take but a moment to post an African American-owned business that you are frequenting.
On leaning in to improving our communities:
The reality is that we are all interconnected. One of the things that Dr. King said is that injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. So when we lean in to improve our communities–even if [a social justice issue for another community is] not directly impacting you–we all benefit, because we are interconnected. Even if I don’t live in your zip code, or I don’t live in your same neighborhood, but what happens in my neighborhood will eventually impact your neighborhood and vice a versa.
It’s about having the mindset of we and us not just me and myself alone. We have to continue to think in that way. Black History Month gives us the opportunity to focus, but it should happen throughout the year.