FAITH: Black History is more than a month
When I think of Black History month, I think of those who gave their lives so I could receive an education and the opportunity to share with you my thoughts in this paper.
I think of Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard educated historian who started a group now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). Mr. Woodson and his fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated were the creators of what was known as “Negro History and Literature Week” which was in celebrated in April during its conception. It was later moved to the second week of February to align with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, two individuals that had significance in the termination of owning slaves.
When I think of Black History Month, I think of those pioneers who lead the way for equality for all people.
When I think of Black History Month, I think of those like Vivien Thomas who played an intricate part in the success of heart surgery.
When I think of Black History I think about the journey of my heritage, how it was taken from its homeland. Brought to America in shackles and chains. How my heritage was forced through beatings not to speak its native language and learn to speak a foreign language without the opportunity to learn to read it.
My heritage had to witness the separating of the family unit for the price of a dollar or punishment for being a man. My heritage has under gone the senseless death of a teen-age young men such as George Stinney Jr. who was executed in 1944 and was exonerated in 2014, Emmitt Teal was lynched in 1955, Trayvon Martin shot in 2012 along with the brutal beating of Rodney King in 1991, the deaths at the hands of law enforcement of the likes of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in 2020.
My heritage has traveled the journey to see the first African American Supreme Court Justice in Thurgood Marshall in 1967, first African American President in Barack Obama in 2008, and the first female African American Vice-President Kamala Harris in 2020.
When I think of Black History Month, I think of ways I can help to build on the legacy and heritage that has been laid out for me so others following me can help our heritage become greater.
For me, Black History is not a month, it’s who I am. #CELEBRATELIFE
Rev. Demetrius Moffett is Senior Pastor of Orange Church of God-Embassy of Grace, 1911 North 16th Street in Orange.