Have you noticed that even today, in our generation of media frenzy, the covers of most magazines are not the faces of African-Americans? Have you noticed that school curriculum rarely, if ever, note the great achievements of African-Americans? The contributions that African-Americans have made to this country in all subject areas need to be noticed. If you rewind time a hundred years, the achievements of African-Americans were consistently overlooked. Our liberties and opportunities were stagnated. Simple pleasures that we enjoy today were not afforded our grandparents.
The silence of the milestones African-Americans achieved was heard by the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), founded by Carter G. Woodson. February 1926, they sponsored a national Negro History Week in February 1926 to inspire the United States to celebrate our rich heritage. The week evolved to Black History Month and now African American History Month, which brings awareness to the countless achievements we have made to areas such as technology, science, arts, medicine, agriculture and so much more.
GLOSS recognizes the contributions of those whose shoulders we now stand on, those footsteps we now follow, and even those who have given us the courage to be trailblazers to new frontiers. God has seen the struggles of African-Americans for centuries and now is raising up a generations of boys and girls to carry the mantle forward to someday become the new faces of achievers in the African American Hall of Fame. I am awed by Facebook and Twitter feeds featuring powerful quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Booker T. Washington and Fredrick Douglas. Instagram photos and video clips of leading ladies like Lena Horne, Ruby Dee and Cicely Tyson inspire me. James Weldon Johnson’s, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” sung in church or at school stirs up emotions of the travail and triumph of my ancestors.
I challenge our GLOSS young ladies to never allow the sacrifices of those who lived before you to be forgotten or not appreciated. Rather, be determined and committed to celebrate them in your relationships, careers, and all endeavors by always remembering how they made it possible for you. President Obama, our first African-American president, issued the annual proclamation declaring February as National African American History Month. I stand with him and applaud such a noteworthy celebration.
How will you honor African American History Month?!