Written by: Phindile Le Bris Sithole-Spong
A few weeks ago, I came across the United Nations (UN) calendar for international days. According to this calendar, 31 August is International Day for People of African Descent. This UN holiday was created to celebrate the diverse heritage and several contributions of people of African descent. The African diaspora has long been recognized for its spirit and contributions to art, culture, science, and other fields. Furthermore, the African diaspora continues to mark a distinctive presence and positive impact in several parts of the world. International Day for People of African Descent is a day where we honour a vibrant culture and the international community of African people.
The UN describes this day as a day that “aims to eliminate all forms of discrimination against people of African descent.” International days are created to reflect society’s values, and it is evident that African communities from all over the world have shared commonalities. The UN also highlights that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and have the potential to contribute constructively to the development and well-being of their societies. Therefore, “any doctrine of racial superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust, and dangerous and must be rejected, together with theories that attempt to determine the existence of separate human races.” Celebrating this day highlights the UN’s racial equality and cultural diversity mission. This day is an opportunity for people to learn more about African heritage and culture through film, dance, music, art, and other manifestations of political and scientific contributions of people of African descent.
Unfortunately, such days often go uncelebrated or not given the hype it deserves. Because we do not want to miss out on an opportunity to celebrate African women, She Evolves has decided to use such days to share the stories and lives of the extraordinary African women who have changed the global community for the better. This includes writers, advocates, politicians, musicians, actors, and so much more. After all, if we don’t do our best to share and write about these stories and contributions, who will?
So every month, She Evolves will share a story and information about a woman of African descent who has helped change the global discourse. So please stay tuned to this series and share stories of African women who have positively impacted and changed your life. So leave us a comment below, letting us know of any women whose stories you think we need to feature and let us tell the stories we wish we had heard when we were growing up.