Black History in the making: Diverse voices proclaim “My Blackness is”

Working on the Mahogany team means collaborating with a variety of talented individuals in the African-American community at Hallmark. That’s why, in celebration of Black History Month, we invited Hallmark writer Melvina Y., a prolific contributor to the Mahogany line—along with several others included here—to speak to the power of unity and the richness of diversity that shape what blackness means to them. The result is an empowering, enlightening, eclectic mix of unforgettable voices proclaiming “My Blackness is…” that will inspire you long after the month has ended. Enjoy!
—Dee Z., Mahogany Editorial Director

History has always dreamt of a future like you

For African Americans, Black History Month is a time to honor what we’ve come through, to acknowledge the price our elders paid for our freedom, and to respect the power of unity to bring us over and carry us through whatever may come.

It’s also a “thank you” to our ancestors and an “I got you” to the other brothers and sisters we stand and transcend with now.


We are 42 million strong, deeply rooted through the same tree of ancestry but branching out in diverging directions of purpose and destiny. We may be one people, but our stories are not the same.


I am a proud Black daughter of the cotton-field South, born into legal racial segregation but raised through the coming of a not-always-perfect equality. I am educationally trained as a professional historian and cultural expert, and make my living as a writer. I’m married to a white man, am part of a loving interracial extended family, and am raising a brilliant and disabled daughter. I love Thai and Middle Eastern food and can bake a straight-from-the-Delta soul food macaroni and cheese so rich and delicious you might just quit your mama for me.

Though I have so much in common with my African-American brothers and sisters through our shared ancestry, there is nobody else exactly like me.


And that is exactly why, as we take time out during Black History Month to recognize the importance of our common heritage, we also want to honor and respect the individuality we each claim and own. African Americans across Hallmark share how their individual distinctiveness is reflected through our common blackness by proudly and poetically affirming “My Blackness Is…”

This Black History Month, come celebrate with us that there are 42 million people of African descent in our country, 42 million ways to be Black, and 42 million ways to be proud.   



“My Blackness is”: More perspectives

My Blackness is…
faith, family time,
and high school sports.
And my Blackness is real.
Shalanda S., Multicultural Business Integration Leader

My Blackness is…
calm and reserved,
a little bit country,
a little bit rock and roll,
and a whole lot of rhythm and blues…
and my Blackness is one of a kind.
—Orlanda L., Design Engineer

My Blackness is…
loud family gatherings,
spirit-filled church services,
and soul food.
And my Blackness is real.
—Monic H., Product Director

My Blackness is nerdy, wordy,
and married to a white guy.”
—Pamela D., Editorial Director

My Blackness is…
thrift shopping,
film photography,
and acrylic nails.
And my blackness is real.
—Abby J.  Editor

My Blackness is…
bookstores, spa days,
family-strong, faith-deep.
And my Blackness is a blessing.
—Dee Z., Editorial Director

My Blackness is…
and deep.
And my Blackness is real.
—Kimberly P., Product Manager

My Blackness is…
what some people hate
and what others love.
It is who I am. It runs in my blood.
—Bertram S., IT Analyst

My Blackness is…
hot pressing combs and pickles,
altar calls and amens,
“red-boned” and resilient.
My Blackness is served with a smile.
—Dawnielle R.W., Editor

My Blackness is…
coconut tarts,
reggae music,
and Shea Moisture.
And my Blackness is real.
—Stephanie R., IT Analyst

My Blackness is not a weapon.
My Blackness is resilient.
My Blackness is real.
My Blackness is love.
My Blackness is regal.
—Terri W., IT Analyst

My Blackness is…
raising two young men,
binge-watching “This Is Us,”
hip hop music,
And my Blackness is 24/7/365.
—Phil P., Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion

My Blackness is…
R&B and rap music,
soul food,
and fellowship.
And my Blackness is real.
—Andria B., Strategic Buyer

My Blackness is…
calm, focused, resilient….
and most of all, it is loved.
—DeEtte J., Production Designer

For more inspiration, download these free digital wallpapers, read “Black History Month: A thank you” and follow Mahogany on Instagram.

This Black History Month, we invite you to share your own “My Blackness is” thoughts. Tell us what your blackness is to you and tag @Think.Make.Share.



Leave a Comment

  1. 2.13.19 | Reply
    Bertie Brown wrote:

    My Blackness is family time, hanging out with girlfriends, attending sports with my grands, dinners on Sunday after church. My blackness is loving every minute of life and making no apologies for who I am. I am who God made me and I am just enough. #Blessedandhighly favored.

  2. 2.13.19 | Reply
    Bertie Brown wrote:

    My blackness is sharing family times, hanging out with my girlfriends, praising God in worship service, attending sports events with my grands and sharing memories from the past.
    B Brown,