This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of MassMutual. All opinions are 100% mine.
It started with a question about Black History Month, about why there’s so little time dedicated to the study of Black history. It continued with questions about why the same names are referenced, the same stories told. “Isn’t there more?” she asked. Yes, I told her. There is so much more.
The library is like our second home. There were no required reports on African Americans this year. She noticed that. Her first year in middle school, her first Black History Month as a sixth grader, and she didn’t have to do a project on a Black person. It felt wrong. We’ve been reading about little known Black history facts ever since. Her determination to not be thwarted by the way Black history is taught in our schools, how the same, although remarkable, individuals, are discussed, is infectious. I’m reminded that I can’t rely upon schools or society to educate my children about our history. I can’t rely on others to prepare them for the future, to remind them that everything they do leaves a legacy, positive or negative.
What I can do, though, is work with companies like MassMutual, which is embracing the celebration of Black History Month by honoring African American history and resolve. Through the month-long campaign #JourneyOfYou, MassMutual invites recognition and reflection on our family histories, what makes us who we are, in an effort to honor our past while creating a legacy for our future.
After dinner, we talk. We go around the table and discuss what happened during our day. At the end sometimes, though, we discuss one of the little known facts we’ve found. We talk about its relevance to today, how things have changed, how that legacy affects the person’s family even 105 years later, like Matthew Henson, the first Black explorer to complete a successful expedition to the North Pole in 1909. How proud the generations of Hensons must still be to have that distinction!
When it comes to legacy, though, I’m fascinated by others’, yet frightened for my own. What will I leave? What will I be remembered for? What will my children have when I’m gone, not just physically/tangibly, but spiritually, mentally, financially. It starts with what I teach and how I prepare my children. I want them to be financially secure, sure, but it’s a process I’m still learning myself – how to be financially savvy, aware, and how to make good choices. I want them to be secure in the things their father and I did in and for society, to make sure our name and our family’s history is one to remember, for the good we did. I want them to be knowledgeable about our heritage, discovering our past, planning for their future. These are the things MassMutual stands for: protecting what matters most in our lives – our family.
And our legacies.
What will you leave?