Why black history?
“My people are destroyed for the lack of Knowledge...” — Hosea 4:6.
February is the month set aside to celebrate some of the positive deeds and/or accomplishments of blacks in America; thus it is deemed Black History Month. Designating specific time to celebrate black historical experiences in America provides opportunities to increase social awareness as well as to stir some social conscience. Along with furnishing a preface to racial understanding, black history unfolds a dramatic story of dynamic and interesting personalities and achievements.
We find that the role of blacks in America has been rich in meaning and rich in the making of America. That role is generally not well known and/or not correctly known. Too often, the eyes of prevalent historians were closed to many of the positive contributions of blacks, and so the facts were not included in their bodies of work; consequently, there are significant omissions in our history books. Sometimes the negative references were the only ones pointed out, but referring solely to negativity or problems caused by a race of people distorts the emerging picture. The result then is an incomplete, unbalanced focus on the historic role of the race.
We need to impose acceptable limits on how people may be portrayed by ourselves as well as other no matter what the race. So let us take this month to celebrate black history as a vehicle for enlightenment and enrichment. May it rekindle in the hearts of Americans a new pride in America and a determination to make America an even greater nation!
This column is the opinion of Ann Wells of Eagle River Missionary Baptist Church.