The United States of America is the only country in the world that has set aside an entire month to celebrate, honor and recognize the achievements and contributions of one group of citizens. February is the month America pays tribute to our fellow citizens of African descent. Black History Month for all its revelry is not a time for African-Americans only to reflect on their contributions to the greater American society. All Americans are invited to share in this annual celebration.
It is important that we understand Black History Month was not created out of a sense of guilt or as a form of reparation. Unfortunately, this is the perspective held by some Black-and-White Americans. Furthermore it has come to my attention that some view its observance as an annoyance and an inconvenience. The inconvenient truth is that it is neither. Black History is American history pure and simple. America would not be the great nation it is without African-Americans, and African-Americans would not enjoy the liberties we treasure so dearly had it not been for some well-meaning White folks.
African-Americans and their historic contributions are as inseparable and indistinguishable from American history as the American Revolution. Although, written on a separate page it is forever bound in the same book. Black history is a history painted on a canvas of white with a dark background of blood, sweat and tears. The hope of a brighter future is our inheritance, and we proudly claim it. However, we cannot afford to squander the rich treasures of our legacy nor allow others to overlook it in pursuit of vain nostalgia or the non-sensual notion of turning back the hands of time.
This month we celebrate a history of humble beginnings bound in chains of despair. Notwithstanding, that dark period of slavery in American history we celebrate happy endings with periods of love found, hatred restrained, hopes renewed; dreams realized and prosperity to be shared. Paraphrasing, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate any man, but to win the friendship and understanding of our fellow man.”
The history of people of African descent in America may be incomplete and inaccurate to a degree, but it is not insignificant by any measure. The innumerable contributions of African-Americans have been recognized worldwide from the Big House-to-the State House, and from imperial palaces-to-the White House. It fills my heart with joy that Black History Month is being observed in this place, God’s house.
I thank you for your indulgence and pray the Lord will bless America and all Americans this month and every month afterwards without end. Thank You……
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ