Black History Month Spotlight: Erica Buchanan

February 10, 2022 / 5 mins read


This year for Black History Month we’re proud to celebrate our amazing staff and family of educators for their immeasurable contributions to their field, community and beyond.

Today’s spotlight is on our North Bronx Site Director, Erica Buchanan! Erica has worked with All Our Kin since 2018 and dedicates her life’s purpose towards the betterment of early childhood. “I want my work as an educator, writer and artist to impact young children.”

As an artist, she believes in the powerful role that art and music play in shaping the minds of our earliest learners — introducing a world of possibility, opportunity and ways of thinking. Compassion and dedication are just a few of the many inspiring attributes that make her a beloved leader in our AOK community.

Get to know Erica and how she honors Black History Month!

What does Black History Month mean to you?

As an African American who is part West Indian, Black History Month is a special time of remembrance and celebration. It is important to honor the historical figures and historical movements that have paved the way for me today. It’s also a time to celebrate the inventors, creators, athletes and community warriors of today who continue the amazing work of past leaders.

Do you have any special ways that you celebrate?

One thing that I tend to do around this time of year is write poetry and reflect on my experiences as a black woman, mother and community leader.

What historical or present day black figure has inspired you the most

My mother, Esther Hinds. Her career as an opera singer broke barriers in the world of classical music! One of the biggest lessons I have learned from her is to never let your light go out and be confident in your own skin.

Her career, ways of being and faith in God have given me the fuel to carry on her legacy of excellence. I have always admired and respected her. I’m in awe of how she juggled a career, family, craft and with so much integrity — despite the many adversities she faced because of the color of her skin. I am proud to celebrate her during this Black History Month.

A beautiful poem Erica wrote, paying homage to her mother's homeland of Barbados:

As I feel the wave take me in and take me out
I float with hope and joy
I find hope in the strength of the waves
I find joy in the way they move me

I emerge from the waters
The warm air drowns out the cold feelings of solitude
The brown hues of the earth envelops my eyes
The sweet flavors of belonging fill my soul to its peak
I am comfortable here, beneath my skin
I am safe here, behind my eyes

For what I see,
Quiets my heart,
Silences my fears,
Mends my misunderstandings,
Weighs down my shoulders with bliss,
For I came home to an island that showed I belong.