A proud African American, WiseWOMAN, I invite you to join the many observations, discussions, lectures, dinners (on Zoom) and good ol’ fashioned kitchen talk with soul food to C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-E, Black History Month.
You are invited…
Today I am remembering black history week, from years go by. (Yes, it was a week back then and before that, it was Negro History Week.) With my school age peers, in our small town (Passaic, New Jersey) we lined up excitedly (or at least I was excited) after being ushered by teachers into the gym for the annual black history assembly.
Teachers shared pictures on a large projector, history, facts and names of a few greats. Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman were amongst the headliners. Annually a few select students were asked to read from an essay written about a famous black person. Special bulletin boards featuring Black Americans adorned hallways in red, black and green. That was it – until the next year.
To close the assembly, our school principal stepped up to the mike to “thank students for participating” and the assembly was dismissed. We lined up, returned to our respective classrooms and THAT WAS IT for black history month, until the next year.
Recognizing that was a long time ago, I am happy to see THIS YEAR is different. The social dynamics and suffering in 2020 changed everything. Racial injustice, marches during summer 2020 in every major USA city, the death of Mr. Floyd for all to see on TV and disruption to systems with words and action – spoke to the hearts of many.
YES! Things are changing.
Black History month, founded by Carter G. Woodson, the 2nd African American to earn a PhD in sociology from Harvard University, is more than a once a year celebration. Beyond February read, discuss, learn and share the entire American history. The legacy, contributions, culture and history of African Americans in America is vast. Incorporate black and brown people, contributions made, in all discussions, texts, lessons – from the classroom to the boardroom.
Educate to empower. Share facts often hidden and stories untold- daily. Black history is not a month. It is a part of the American story, OUR history to be shared daily.