This year for Black History Month, we’re sharing stories from real parents about how they use this month for celebration, reflection, and an opportunity to create the future they dream of for their children.
As a company founded in the roots of babywearing, we want to celebrate Black culture and the roots that started the foundation of what we know as babywearing today.
Babywearing made its way to the U.S. in the 1970s. Doula, Kaytee Crawford explains it best, “Carriers like these with buckles and straps, they all had to come from somewhere, right? Well, back in the 70s someone went to Africa and saw how they were carrying their babies with pieces of fabric and came back to the U.S. and decided to make a carrier with buckles and straps to mimic the way Africans were carrying their babies.” And just like that, babywearing took off.
Today, we’re sharing a story from Bre.
“Lift every voice and sing, til earth and Heaven ring, ring with the harmonies of liberty, let our rejoicing rise, high as the listening skies,” my mother sang to me with eyes clenched tight and a hand upon her heart. I was 9 years old, with tears streaming down my face. I had never heard these words before, yet, they spoke to something deep within me. On this day, my mother was teaching me the song “Lift every Voice and Sing” or more affectionately known as the “Black National Anthem ”. I would go on to sing this song quietly to myself for weeks. I nestled it in my heart and made it a part of me. Unknown to me at the time, this song would act as a prophetic declaration in my life. Though the lyrics acknowledge the tremendous pain in the Black American Story, at its core, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” is a proclamation of hope and victory.
My name is Bre Burrier, I’m a 34 year old wife and mother of four. In this season of my life I am devoted to building a home for my family, and for me that transcends simply cooking and cleaning. My greatest desire is to build a home with a culture of kindness, love, strength, peace, and purpose, and to raise children that possess these attributes as well. A part of accomplishing this goal is to be vigilant about how my children view themselves. I am in an interracial marriage and my children are biracial. It is my delight to teach them about the beauty and wonder of being black. The story I tell them is a story of tremendous hope and victory in the face of great adversity. For us, Black History Month serves as a time to be intentional about focusing on hope and victory every day.
I often find myself in awe of the history of my people. I am unaware of any other people group that remained in the land of their oppression, incrementally found freedom, and eventually influenced the land in indelible, profound ways. To me the Black American Story is a miracle story, the strides made from one generation to the next are remarkable. My own family’s story reflects this on a micro level.
I am a child of a forgotten child. My mother grew up in the Inner City of Los Angeles, born to an alcoholic father and a schizophrenic mother. She was eventually removed from her parents home at only 7 years old. She bounced around to countless foster homes, experiencing varying degrees of abuse and neglect, and at the age of 17 she found herself pregnant with my older sister. In many cases this would be a tragedy compounding on an already tragic life, but not for my mother. “Danielle saved me”, is all you will ever hear her say about her teen pregnancy – a voice bursting with pride. The knowledge of her impending motherhood changed her life. A few years later she would meet my father and together they would build a home in the suburbs of San Diego – a home known for its warmth, its generosity and uninhibited laughter.
In one generation our family was transformed – one couple determined to be pillars that their children could stand upon to accomplish whatever their hearts’ desired. That is the black story – that is my black story. Generation after generation sewing their tragedy, laboring over the field of their lives, for the sake of building a glorious orchard for those to come after them. That is the harmony of liberty that swells in my chest every February. I am blessed to be a part of this story. I am blessed to be a walking manifestation of the prayers of my ancestors. I am blessed to pass on the same spirit to my children. February will always be a month of great rejoicing for my family, rejoicing that rises to the listening skies. For in a world full of trials we must cling to that which gives us strength to overcome, our heritage is a weapon we wage against intimidation and fear because we are a part of a miracle story and that is a reason to sing indeed!
Additional Resources for Babywearing, Breastfeeding, and Black History Month