Monday, February 24, 2020

Black History Month

Black History Month

February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate the accomplishments of African Americans and the important roles black people have held throughout our country. 

Have you ever heard someone say, “I didn’t notice you were black”?  What a disservice we do to others when we don’t even notice the color of their skin.
If we don’t notice the color of someone’s skin than we may miss out on finding out what it’s like to be them. 

As a patient’s advocate, I never thought it mattered in my early years until I stood at the bedside and watched white nurses fuss with a white patient and somewhat ignore a black patient. Now, this could have been my imagination but either way, it stayed with me.

As I sat in a room of thirty black people while my friend and colleague, a black nurse, did a Pulse presentation, I will never forget how someone said something completely inappropriate for the topic, and because I felt like the awkward “minority” in the room, I kept silent and didn’t correct her. The only reason was because of the color of my skin. My friend said to me with a smile, “Now you know how it feels.”

I was in a room of people who all looked different from me and though it shouldn’t have mattered, my behavior was different. They were different. When a black female doctor walked into the room for my examination a number of years ago, I was taken aback.  She was a wonderful doctor as it turned out, but I was uncomfortable, for a moment, that we looked different. 

This should never matter, but it does.  When someone looks different we might think their beliefs are different or their upbringing is different and that might be true; still, we can respect each other, like each other and love each other even with these differences.  We need to be sure we are looking into each other’s hearts and being curious about others.  Don’t assume you know what they need or what their life has been like – no matter what their skin color is and if it is different, reach out even further and learn from them. Greatness comes in all colors. We need to honor that.  I hope this reminder helps.

Don't miss out on this important information worth sharing:

11 African Americans Who Made Medical History

12 Leaders in Nursing and Medicine To Honor This Black History Month

68 African American leaders in healthcare | 2019Why America Needs More Black Doctors

68 African American leaders in healthcare | 2019