In Defense of Black History Month During Aquarius Season by Julissa Emile


It has been long debated among Black Scholars, Activists, and Icons that Black History Month during February, the shortest month of the year in the Gregorian calendar, is a blatant attempt to minimize and undermine the work and impact of Black people in the United States of America. When MTVNews asked Whitney Houston in 1994 about what Black History Month means to her, she very proudly responded with "with need a longer month!" Bobby Brown, who attended the event with her, agreed and followed up with "Black History Year! We need a whole year." This response is appropriate and immediate in the minds of many Black people living in the United States that recognize the racial trauma enacted upon them for the country we reside in to even exist today. However, there is a certain allure to the month of February in that during the Astrological calendar; it falls during Aquarius season. For many of us here on Planet Earth, it can be very easy to forget the influence of the stars in our daily lives, and yet, as beings made up of 60% water, when our moon pulls our planet's tides, we too must be affected.


Black History Month hasn't always been a month of twenty-eight or twenty-nine days, because of course, there was a time in the United States and Colonies where Black people were not even considered human — they were more likely to be categorized as inventory. In the article for How Negro History Week became Black History Month and Why It Matters Now, Veronica Chambers discusses the often forgotten history of how Black History Month came to be. In 1897, it was proposed by Mary Church Terrell, an educator and community activist, that there should be a holiday in Washington-area "colored schools" and that there needed to be a day to celebrate the life and work of the late abolitionist Fredrick Douglas. The school board landed on February 14th because this was the date that Douglass celebrated his birthday, for he had been born into slavery and his exact birth date was unknown.


Now enter Carter G Woodson, who is now referred to as "the father of Black History." Woodson was the son of two formerly enslaved people. He worked in a coal mine before receiving his Master's at the University of Chicago. Upon attending the Lincoln Jubilee in the summer of 1915 and seeing the large turnout, he felt inspired to do more work on honoring Black history. Woodson would then go on to form the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. (Chambers,2020)


Woodson believed that "if a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated." Having no history as a race also allows for those in power to decide your history for you." (Chambers, 2020) Many African Americans struggle to find traces of their history prior to slavery because this information has been destroyed and severed from us as a means of control.


When a person knows who they are and the strength of the people that they come from, it empowers them to reach farther into their dreams. When all you know of the history of your people is restricted to the context of slavery, it can bring about a deep sense of loss and disconnection from yourself and of your history. It was through Woodson's efforts that we came to have the first Negro History Week in February 1926. February was chosen because it's the month that both Lincoln and Douglas's birthdays fall in. Years later in 1969, students at Kent State University proposed Black History Month and in February of 1970, the first Black History Month was celebrated. (Chambers, 2020)


Black History Month is a time to intentionally acknowledge the contributions, aesthetics, history, language, perseverance, and dreams of Black Americans, and an often overlooked aspect of Black existence is the influence of the stars on our spirituality. Even as a Caribbean Black person, I know the story of the North Star and how it led many enslaved people out of slavery, but for me, the North Star also holds the meaning of being able to lift your head out of your circumstance and look into the endless possibilities of the heavens above us. This is the objectiveness that the practice of astrology gifts to humankind; the ability to look at a version of yourself not solely bound to the limitations of your human body and condition.



The astrology that we're most exposed to in American Society is very pop culture driven astrology, but at its core, astrology is a story. Constance is my astrology teacher and has been studying the subject for 12+ years. In a class I took with her last fall, she explained the story of Astrology to our class. It starts with the youngest sign of Aries, which is all about desire and want, not yet plagued by the concept of consequences. Aries teaches us about determination and the importance of staying connected to the truth of our inner child. The first four signs represent the journey of the self, the next four signs represent the journey of a soul, and the last four signs represent the journey of work that spans lifetimes. “Sagittarius, fire sign, ruler of Religion and Philosophy. Capricorn, earth sign, ruler of Society, Agriculture, Form, and Conditioning. Aquarius, air sign, ruler of Community, Friendship, and Objectivity. And at the very end of the Zodiac is Pisces, water sign, ruler of dreams, spirituality and the unconscious mind." (Constance, 2020)


Fredrick Douglass is the alleged Aquarius who we began celebrating Black History Month around, but the Aquarius influence on the Black community doesn't end with him. With icons such as Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde, Rosa Parks, and Angela Davis, the impact of the Aquarius on the Black Community is impossible to ignore. In "Here's What the Aquarius Personality Really Looks Like," Celebrity Astrologer Aliza Kelly breaks down the 11th sign of the zodiac. "Aquarius is represented by the water bearer, the mystical healer who bestows water, or life, upon the land. Accordingly, Aquarius is the most humanitarian astrological sign. These revolutionary thinkers fervently support "power to the people," aspiring to change the world through radical social progress." (Kelly, 2021) This is the sign that seeks the truth hidden behind the veil and uses its power of objectivity to find unique solutions to the problems that plague their community.


Aquarius season begins on January 21st and ends on February 20th, meaning that the bulk of Black History Month takes place during Aquarius season. With what I know of Black History Month and what I know of Aquarius season, this has always felt like a perfect union. Constance also walked our class through the different aspects of reality that the different signs and planets rule over. Aquarius not only rules Community and Friendship but is a Saturn ruled sign. The signs of Saturn are Capricorn and Aquarius. Capricorn provides our world with a sense of Law and Order which can manifest as rigidity, but its planetary counterpart Aquarius is the very opposite. Aquarius also cares about Society but has a more communal approach, and unlike Capricorn, Aquarius is also ruled by Uranus, the Planet of Revolution, Technology, and Innovation.


Black History Month is a time where we must look back to be able to look forward. There can be no revolution without also the honoring of a history. Doing so would be like trying to change when you are unable to look within. In HBO Max's "Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground," Kayla Reed states, "Mary Hooks says that 'the mandate for Black people in this time is to honor our ancestors, earn the respect of future generations, and to be willing to be transformed in the service of the work.'" and as we intentionally sit in the history of Black Americans, Aquarius season beams down on our world with the spirit of Community, Revolution and a love of the Expansive and Eccentric to guide us.



Works cited:

★ Chambers, Veronica, and Jamiel Law. “How Negro History Week Became Black History Month and Why It Matters Now.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 25 Feb. 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/history-of-black-history-month.html.

★ Kadlec, Jeanna. “The Aquarian Writer: Toni Morrison.” Astrology for Writers, Astrology for Writers, 28 Jan. 2020, https://jeannakadlec.substack.com/p/the-aquarian-writer-toni-morrison.

★ Kayla Reed. Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground. HBO Max.

★ Constance. My Astrology Teacher. 3 Nov. 2020.

★ Faragher, Aliza Kelly. “Here's What the Aquarius Personality Is Really Like.” Allure, Allure, 2 Feb. 2018, https://www.allure.com/story/aquarius-zodiac-sign-personality-traits.