Celebrating Black Joy and Liberation

In my lifetime, there has been a powerful shift toward lifting up the Black experience, Black voices, and Black visionaries. 

While we were once asked to tone down our Blackness, now we are celebrating it.
This is liberation to me.

Celebrating Blackness has not always been encouraged outside the Black community. The movement for Black liberation is definitely not new, but for many of us, it wasn’t a prominent part of our upbringing and certainly wasn’t as widely recognized as it is today.

As a Black Queer Woman in senior leadership at EBHO, it has been my pleasure to learn from and work beside other powerful Black women in housing. To name a few, thank you to Gloria Bruce, Vanessa Riles, Sister Marie Taylor, Donna Griggs-Murphy, Angela Upshaw, Lauline Mitchell, and Ms. Cecilia Cunningham, as well as Ms. Theola Polk and Daphine Lamb-Perrilliat, who now rest in peace and power. In a field where Black people are the most impacted, we often find ourselves excluded from the room where solutions are crafted. Thank you to all of these powerful women for helping EBHO create a space of belonging.

Let us give thanks to those who came before us, those who stand beside us, and those who will lead us into a transformative future. Happy Black History Month!

With deep appreciation, 
— Kiki Poe, Senior Director of Membership & Operations

Ronnie Boyd (Community, Faith & Justice Organizer), Vanessa Riles (former Community, Faith & Justice Organizer), Sister Marie Taylor (former Board President), Kiki Poe (Senior Director of Membership & Operations), and Aziza Crowder (Membership & Operations Manager). 

“The challenge is in the moment; the time is always now.”

James Baldwin, African American writer and civil rights activist

A Closer Look at Black History Month

We sat down with EBHO’s Membership & Operations Manager, Aziza Crowder to talk about the significance of Black history and community. Aziza identifies as Afro-Latina.

What does Black liberation look like to you?
Black liberation looks like a healthy, joyful, resource- and opportunity-filled, wealthy Black community. With no fear of officers, who swore to protect. Where young Black adults do not have to fight for a small inch of respect. This is just a taste of what it looks like to be Black and liberated! When we can safely feel freedom to celebrate who we are, without wearing systemic racial scars then, to me, Black liberty will ring.

How do you embrace Black History Month today?
By lifting up my ancestors, those who fought, sacrificed, and lifted their stories up to make others aware of the victories and ongoing fight our communities have come across, I embrace Black History Month. Educating others on how they can bridge the gap of inequality and support us through the current obstacles preventing racial equality and progression is also another way to embrace this month.