February is Black History Month, a four-week long celebration during which we shine a light on and seek to learn more about the people, events, experiences, and contributions of Black America throughout the past 400 plus years. Black History Month is an opportunity to rewrite and reclaim the narrative. History has always been recorded and recited from the perspective of the majority. That is neither right nor wrong, good nor bad, it simply is. what it is.
During this month we usually hear about people like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. an American Baptist minister and activist, one of the most prominent leaders in the civil rights movement. or Rosa Louise McCauley Parks, an American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott. Or black inventors like Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr. who invented the traffic light, or Madam C.J. Walker, the first African American woman to become a self made millionaire after creating a line of hair products geared toward Black hair.
According to thenationalcouncil.org “Black History Month is a time to be more inclusive. To seek to understand what is “not” recorded in history that highlights the greatness of our country and richness of our collective heritage.”
I’ve found that not all hero’s were in the past. There are so many men and women making history right now and I would like to spotlight one in particular. Trina Jiles, owner of Gritz Cafe. the first Black woman firefighter in Clark County and the second in the state of Nevada. She was just 22 years old when she joined the Clark County Fire Department in January 1996.
According to gritzcafe.com “Gritz Café is the “Ritz” for the Grits as we prepare them just right for your taste buds with the perfect texture. We developed a unique customer experience to complement our eclectic taste. In 2008 a brand new cafe was formed to enhance the image of “Soul Food” restaurants while introducing a Southern familiarity to its dining guests.”
Trina Jiles is truly a trailblazer and continues to make history, or shall I say, “Herstory.”