History Connects Past, Present & Future
February is Black History Month here in the United States. It’s an opportunity for all Americans to learn about and celebrate the contributions made by African-Americans. For African-Americans, Black History Month is a review and realization of our identity. It gives us a sense of connection. Familiarity with our history provides a means of recognizing our captive past, extolling the achievements of the heroes who’ve preceded us and of passing down the knowledge to those who will succeed us.
My guest this episode is Jamal Skinner, Founder and Executive Director of the Cultural Enrichment Center of Fort Collins. Jamal has been on a mission of self-realization, creative expression and of paying it forward to the next generation. He’s also the frontman for the Reggae band DubSkin, as well as an avid proponent of African-American history and culture. Our conversation took place during Black History Month. It was timely, relevant and inspiring.
We discussed Jamal’s musical journey as well as the CEC’s mission. Among other topics:
- Connection to self
- Connection to culture
- Connection to community
A positive sense of identity, opportunity and appropriate guidance comprise some of the building blocks for Black youth to gain confidence in conceiving a successful future for themselves. Having experienced a childhood of oppression and alienation, this really resonates with me. When I was shown that I could learn, when given the opportunity to explore my creativity within a supportive community, I gained a better sense of myself. I became a passionate, lifelong learner. Access to knowledge, tools of expression and new experiences can light a fire that lasts a lifetime.
Speaking of knowledge, be sure to take advantage of the many opportunities locally and online to learn about African-American history. Our past informs our present, as well as our future.
Many, many thanks to my guest Jamal Skinner, Founder and Executive Director of the Cultural Enrichment Center of Fort Collins. You can learn more about the Cultural Enrichment Center of Fort Collins at fococec.org. Check out DubSkin at dubskinmusic.com
To attend CEC’s Black History Month Events, click this link.
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Until next time, may you find your superpower, fuel your passion — light it up!