February is Black History Month. This year, we’re honored to pass the mic to Gold Award Girl Scout Cydney Brown. Cydney is the Philadelphia Youth Poet Laureate and author of Daydreaming, a collection of poems. In being unapologetically herself, Cydney taps into wisdom that will inspire and energize you.
By Cydney Brown
To me, Black History Month has always been a time to learn more about my culture and feel unapologetically Black. I celebrate Black History Month by researching stories of incredible Black people; listening to songs by Solange, Sam Cooke, and Lauryn Hill; and writing and performing my poetry. Black History Month is a time for me to connect with my culture and embrace my identity. As an aside to my Black Community: one thing I’ve learned is that you should decide what Black History Month looks like for you. Don’t let anyone dictate how you should feel, how you should celebrate, or who you should educate. Black History Month is your time to do what brings you joy and makes you feel your best.
It is important for the next generation of Black youth to know that they are Black History. If you are a Black individual following your dreams and helping to make a difference in your community, you are Black History. The next generation can build on the legacy that our ancestors have started by tapping into their creativity. We all have something that we’re passionate about that brings us, or others, joy. As a Black girl, I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed and be a good example for others, but I tend to forget that I need to make time to rest. If I never take the time to rest and recharge then I will never have the energy to put toward projects that inspire me, and others, to take action and change the world. By sharing my passion with others, I am creating a future in which Black ideas and talents are embraced instead of exploited. If you don’t know what you’re passionate about, that’s okay. With so many badges and projects to take on, Girl Scouts allows you to explore different fields to find something that resonates with you. By taking the time to learn more about ourselves and finding ways to help others, we are continuing the legacy of our ancestors.
During Black History Month we often focus on the past, which is something that’s very important when trying to move forward. However, it’s also important to acknowledge the Black people breaking boundaries right before your eyes. These trailblazers aren’t just celebrities—they are your Black classmates that win STEM competitions, earn their Bronze/Silver/Gold Awards, and become Student Council President. These are all achievements worth celebrating. Carrying Black Legacy into the future means learning more about yourself, staying true to your values, and prioritizing your mental health. As a Black girl, it can feel like the world is rooting against you, constantly telling you who you can and can’t be. But once you know yourself, no one can tell you otherwise. When you know what you’re capable of doing, there will be no reason for you to think otherwise.