Confidence lies within
Updated: Mar 4, 2019
The black race contributes a lot and we are proud of our achievements. We appreciate who we are and what we do, but it’s for others to realize how valuable we are, and that we are able to stand toe-to-toe with them.—Keisha-Ann
There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish. —Michelle Obama
Thoughts on Black History Month
Black History Month would be more significant if we were able to get the wider society to appreciate the reason for the recognition. I am disappointed that I haven’t seen any celebrations in my daughter’s school, or in fact, anywhere in our town.
As a month, Black History Month, although meaningful, is not significant for me, as opposed to any other month, because black history is my whole life. I live it daily, and it means even more to me now that I have a little girl to raise. I am constantly celebrating black achievements, black beauty and black greatness. I don’t wait for any particular month to do these things.
I believe Black History Month was originally designed for other races to recognize, appreciate and perhaps celebrate our journey with us. The whole point was for the entire world to recognize that black people, individually and as a race, have achieved all these things, have invented all these things, but unfortunately, I don’t see that happening. Rather, our celebration is often met with resentment by many other people who don’t understand our journey, its historical contribution and our resilience as a people. There is a lack of appreciation and although I don’t have the answers for how we change that, we could each do our part by representing our race as best we can. —K.A.S.H.
By Michèle Newton They say that confidence comes from within
But is it inside all of us all the time?
Or is it like osmosis, being absorbed into us, like energy,
from those with confidence who surround around us?
I know the path to confidence requires many trials
to try, try again. And to believe in yourself
Not walking away from the edge of success,
because you tell yourself you’ve failed.
Knowing failure is key to building confidence and success
When you reach that stretch goal after first failing
The reward is sweet and the confidence overflows
Filling your soul with courage to try the next thing.
How can I pass this on to others, mentor others -
to help them find this confidence inside themselves?
Maybe by showing up when I’m least expected
Giving encouragement and support without being asked
Believing that we all can achieve our dreams if we’re just
Allowed to go out and prove it to ourselves, confidently.
Who is keisha-Ann
Growing up in Jamaica, Keisha (and her parents!) always held aspirations of her pursuing a career in law. With hard work and perseverance, she achieved her dream career! After practising law in Jamaica for three years, while juggling a long-distance marriage to her husband, she moved to Canada for “the dream, for a better life” and to raise a family.
Being a first-time mom to a brand new daughter, Keisha took on the challenge of the law equivalency exams and later the Bar exams, which she “flew through with flying colours.” Yearning for more flexibility she bravely “took a leap” with her colleague Cory, to partner and opened the firm Lexon Law Professional Corporation. She’s so proud of her company, the independence and sense of accomplishment it brings her: “It’s just amazing. It’s one of the best feelings in the world!”
Keisha-Ann’s move to Canada, despite the additional challenges of living in a town where blacks are a minority, will give her daughter a better life. She looks for opportunities to invest herself in her community, she volunteered with the Innisfil Rotary Club, and Keisha-Ann connects with her black community through her church involvement.
Always be confident - you are beautiful and you are enough. Never feel insecure, or less than another person, or even superficially less beautiful—Keisha-Ann
How about Role Models?
The first of three girls in her family, Keisha-Ann comes from a long line of very successful Jamaican women, who set the example, and the bar, for her very early in life:
Her mother: A classroom teacher, who became principal, justice of the peace and leader of the church choir, showed her the value of perseverance and determination. Saving to send her three children to university, so they had no student loans, Keisha’s mom taught her the value of independence, never wanting her girls to need anyone else’s permission to go after what they wanted.
Being the first one also - expectations were really high—I had to turn out to be something that made my parents proud.—Keisha-Ann
Her aunts: “My aunts and everyone around me were hugely successful.…that’s the drive I have, and that’s the drive I will pass on to my daughter and the next generation of beautiful, bold black women!"
Photo by: Michèle Newton