This month will be filled with television programming, celebrations and proclamations: BLACK HISTORY MONTH! Many will believe that African Americans have arrived – and many will say that we have a long way to go. Yet my thought is that African Americans must begin to take a strengths-based approach to our story. Though many will say until ALL of us are doing better we must remain in the struggle and consider ourselves just a step away from it; I humbly disagree. I am well aware of glaring disparities that pervade in education, economics, health and wellness, medicine, housing and justice. I am well aware that African American men are treated with utter disdain; even if elected to the highest office of the land, or tending the grounds of a university. I am well aware of the disregard and disrespect of African American women from a lower income woman struggling with a terminal illness to the CEO of a major corporation. Yet I am also aware that 90% of every invention that we consume on a daily basis was the brainchild of an African American. Fully aware of the legacy undergirded by Harriet Tubman’s indomitable liberation of enslaved Africans which set the tone for Dr. Condoleezza Rice to be the first African American woman to serve as Secretary of State. I am entrenched in the memory of freedom fighters Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Nat Turner who freed the minds of those who believed they were doomed to the racist disenfranchisement that affected their lives. I am smart enough to know that WE are in the company of ancestors, and a people who know we are beyond the ignorance of others who hate us simply because of the skin we are bathed in.
WE invent, write, sing, teach, clean, love, protest, pursue. WE have journey of inspiration. WE have survived to tell the story, and establish a rich foundation for our children to draw strength on. WE have an obligation to prepare today’s generation and ourselves to do more than remember Black History for one month.
WE MUST BE BLACK HISTORY TODAY, TOMORROW, FOREVER…WHILE HONORING OUR ANCESTORS – THEY COMMAND IT!