PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Every Year in February, Black History Month is celebrated all over the world to signify the journey of the black community. As a community, we reflect on our achievements and the struggles our ancestors faced and some still face today. Though at the end of February, I take this time to reflect on the celebration of our people who have made a difference and those who are making a difference today, as well as those who will move us even higher in the future.
Black history month is very important to all St. Maarteners, as we also look at the struggles of those who have gone before us and the opportunities they have left for us to inherit. I encourage all St. Maarteners to continue telling ‘we story,’ through whichever medium chosen and let the tradition of storytelling help to maintain our culture, norms, achievements, and struggles. We must also strive to record tangible and intangible memories for posterity.
Sadly, we see that racism and injustice against people of color are still prevalent in many countries. Within our own community, we still see inequalities. Black history month continues to raise awareness of the journey and the fight that people of color continue to fight, in action, words and deeds.
On behalf of the Government of St. Maarten, I take this opportunity to invite all citizens to continue learning about your heritage and striving to rise above what others may perceive as our limits. I pledge to continue to work together with all stakeholders to ensure our education systems elevate to ensure all our children have the opportunity to learn and teach all there is to learn, as well as be inspired to make history themselves.
Many local authors whose work is available at our local library and bookstores, as well as online, can help us to learn about our story and our Island’s History. Let us also pledge not only to celebrate and commemorate in February but choose to study and highlight our icons throughout history and today, all through the year via our various mediums in order to ensure our history lives on.