International Women’s Day: Do it for the Culture!

International Women’s Day: Do it for the Culture!

It’s Women’s History month!

Photo by: Jameel Pugh

More specifically, March 8th is International Women’s Day. I had the pleasure of discussing the importance of preserving culture with mother of the program Dajon King. Who reminded me of how crucial it is to honor everything you are.

What is International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day is reserved globally every March 8th, celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This year’s theme is #breakthebias which, if you’re on social media and search the hashtag, you’ll find content exploring what this all means.

Women of Black culture and descent must challenge the many stereotypes that affect how Black women are treated and our overall existence. It is also crucial that others partake in forging women’s equality. Inclusivity is more than just a buzzword when you understand that people’s livelihoods are at stake.

“Here’s to strong women. May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.”

– Unknown

I was raised to be proud of who I am. The only missing element was not being 100% certain of my roots. Understanding your culture is crucial in the fight for equality and against discrimination. So, when I encounter someone who represents their culture with pride and passion, I am always delighted to learn more.

Photo by: Jameel Pugh

Ms. King shared the purpose of wearing Kente cloth during her Black Mothers United maternity portrait session. She is of Ghanaian and Nigerian descent and embraces both backgrounds. Ms. King said, “I want her to know her culture.” Her, being her newborn baby girl. She explained that she was wearing traditional Kente cloth that originated in Ghana, handwoven in the Ashanti region of where her daughter’s father is from.

The Ashanti region of Ghana is the third largest of 16 administrative regions, known for its cocoa and gold bar (refined gold metallic). Ms. King explained:

“The Ashanti region is the biggest kingdom, and they have the golden stool. Her dad (her daughter’s father) is from a very popular region where they speak Twi and a lot of languages. The Kente cloth is the traditional cloth that you get married in and is overall traditional attire. That was the purpose of wearing it for this maternity photo shoot.”

I was able to feel a sense of pride reflected in Ms. King’s words as she explained the traditions and Ghanaian culture.   

These types of explanations of different cultures are essential for others to grasp. Black people are not a monolith, and our backgrounds vary. Cultural awareness is an integral part of understanding belief systems and values. Without this awareness, bias and barriers will continue to exist.

Honoring where you’re from and passing that down to your offspring starts with us. Women continuing to lead the way is empowering and a reminder to respect our minds and bodies. As you reflect on this Women’s History month, I hope you fully embrace your womanhood and feel inspired to pursue every goal you’ve ever imagined.

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