The month of February has been designated as Black History Month in the United States of America, a time to celebrate, honor and recognize the achievements and contributions of its citizens of African descent. Traditionally, African-Americans specifically and a good part of Americans of other cultural orientations generally will take some time to pay tribute to our fellow citizens of African descent. This year, 2014 brings the realization that Black History has broken the chains of American history to find its rightful place in world history and all are openly invited to share in this expanded annual celebration.
It is important to remember the Black History makers and the profound contributions they have made to every facet of the global society; arts, business, culture, computers, education, entertainment, healthcare, jazz, literature, medicine, music, poetry, politics, religion, science, sports, theatre, war and peace. The contributions of these wonderful men and women who sacrificed so much for so many cannot be overstated and certainly should not be marginalized or diminished with the passage of time. Although, every generation has its own history Black History is no longer the shadowy companion of world history, but is fundamental to and a foundation of the history of humankind.
The United States Census Bureau states there are 44-million African-Americans living in the USA today and another 4.2-million persons of African descent from Africa, the Caribbean Islands and Europe. The United Nations Survey of Global Populations estimates there are 1.3-billion Africans in a global population of 7.142-billion people. On the surface this may not seem as a vital statistic, however on closer examination it reveals that 1-in-6 persons on the planet is either African or of African descent. The USA is unique in this consideration as the only nation that has set aside an entire month to pay homage to the nation’s largest racial minority and third largest ancestry group (citizens of African descent).
African-Americans and their historic contributions to humankind are as inseparable and indistinguishable from world history as the Atlantic Ocean. Although, separate pages tell of the painful journey of 12-million African survivors to the Americas during the dark days of the Atlantic Slave Trade it is forever bound in the same book. The history of the African Diaspora continues to be recorded on a canvas of white sails with a multi-colored and multi-national background of blood, sweat and tears. The hope of a brighter future is our inheritance, and we shall not be denied. Abraham Lincoln said; “The Almighty has a purpose of His own.” The world cannot afford to squander the rich treasures of the African legacy nor allow others to devalue it to turn back the hands of time, if only as far back as yesterday.
I urge you to join your African-American sisters and brothers, friends and neighbors, fellow workers and acquaintances as we celebrate happy endings with periods of love found, hatred restrained, hopes renewed; dreams realized and prosperity to be shared. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said “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 by no means insignificant. I pray that you have found this little note on Black History inspiration and encouraging. There is so much to celebrate!
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ