Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong recording the album Ella and Louis, 1956. Photo by Phil Stern.
"The Bush Foundation is committed to supporting and developing more leaders who are better equipped and better networked to effectively lead change.
A Bush Fellowship provides individuals with opportunities to demonstrate and improve their capacity for leadership as they learn by doing. The work of the Fellowship is to blend opportunities for personal development with efforts to effectively engage with others to create positive change within their communities.
We seek leaders who have already demonstrated exceptional gifts, who could benefit from intensive development through self-designed or academic programs, and who are committed to making the region a better place.”
I’m beyond happy to hear about those selected for the Bush Fellowship 2014. Though showing many POC making movements in their community, unfortunately this is not something you’ll see in the news. A very high acclaimed achievement, it’s difficult for anyone to obtain regardless of race.
Remember these individuals the next time someone tells you women, immigrants or POC don’t work hard enough. Not only are they representing those that defy that statement, but they’re also putting in work towards eliminating prominent issues that affect us all.
Although it breaks my heart to read the history behind this, this mentality is unfortunately something I’ve been aware of for quite some time - especially when moving to New York City and hearing these things first hand.
You can see yourself as brown, Indian, or any other term but black but you can’t deny what’s there. In the same way that many black people can’t hide the European blood they’re mixed with, it’s a part of you whether you want it to be or not.
I’m grateful I was raised in an environment that celebrated and not dismissed my African roots. I’m also grateful for all the Afro Latinos that proudly identify as black and continue to bring this issue to light.
Regardless of what many may think I know being black is not a disgrace, and as far as I’m concerned it never will be.