I drive by a church every morning that has that greeting on their sign outside. This morning, I realized I needed to honor this month, just like I would any other holiday or time of remembrance. I realize that one month is not enough, that black history, along with Hispanic history, Asian history, etc. should be incorporated into history lessons right along with the white history. Right now, I want to list what I like about this month.
First, we must never forget. "Never again, never forget" is actually the slogan used to commemorate the Holocaust of the Jewish people in the twentieth century. I realize that the Holocaust, Nazis and Hitler are thrown around in examples of bad things or bad people until they start to lose their meaning, but in this case, there is truly a parallel when looking at the treatment of black people in the United States.
Secondly, I believe the children are our future... No, really, that wasn't just my tribute to Whitney. The children are looking for heroes. They want to know what they can be when they grow up. Now there are more children of color than there are white children in this nation. Children of color are also twice as likely to live in poverty and stay in poverty. I believe this is as a result of the legacy of racism that I touched on before. There are so many layers to this issue, but Black History Month touches on one--role models. People the children can look at and say, "Hey, he/she looks like me and he/she did _________ or invented __________ or became ____________." That is a powerful thing.
Let's remember people of color who did great things despite many odds. Let's recognize that while more people of color live in poverty than white people, more than half the people of color in the U.S. do not live in poverty. And above all, let's honor them as people: mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers.
Happy Black History Month everybody!