The story of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. That September, the Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson, and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans and other peoples of African descent.
By the late 1960s, thanks in part to the Civil Rights Movement and a growing awareness of black identity, Negro History Week had evolved into Black History Month on many college campuses.
President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
Since then, every American president has designated February as Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme. The Black History Month 2023 theme, “Black Resistance,” explores how “African Americans have resisted historical and ongoing oppression, in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial massacres, and police killings.”
Today in the United States, we hear terms like diversity, equity, and inclusion as goals for our society now and in the future. However, before those words were a part of our United States lexicon, brave, determined black Americans were willing to die to be recognized as worthy of fighting for any rights. The question I leave you with today is how would you grade their success?
Listen to three stories that were born, lived, and survived in a military setting. Colonel Arthur Nick Nicholson, Retired and current president and executive director of the Mt. Olive Cemetery Historical Preservation Society, is joining me at the Frankly Speaking table this week.
Learn more about the Society here. https://www.facebook.com/mtolivechps/ and https://mtolivechps.weebly.com
Until next time, remember,
You are not alone.
You are not your circumstances.
You have everything within you to live a purpose-filled life.