The information below is provided by Rev. Baba Clarence E. Washington Vice President/Director/Educational Consultant of the WE CAN FOUNDATION
Black History Month 2021 by Rev. C.E. Washington
Today Black History Month I will assess review and speak from the contemporaneous standpoint of the sociological, psychological, philosophical and spiritual framework. 74 years ago Pioneer black historian educator Carter G Woodson initiated what would be call negro history week, we want to rescue black people accomplishment from this Netherworld of American history and make them a source of Pride for all blacks and all Americans.
Politicians designate special days; issue proclamations sponsor tributes to African-American notable TV network shelves in most of their special documentaries and feature on Black History.
Then February ends and it is back to business as usual Black achievement vanishes from the screen the concert halls in speeches of politicians. It is time end this annual disappearing act, Black contributions to American society should be celebrated every month but this is not done and many blacks blame racism.
They are partly right oh, but it is too easy to blame racism for American failure to recognize Black contributions. The painful truth is that many Black historians and Educators made a bid and are doing their push for black studies courses during the sixties. They failed to tell how the Black experience has enriched the lives of all Americans, a mistake Afro Centrist continue to make today.
Thus confining Black history to a tiny cubicle for Blacks only. When the struggle for equality die down and the backlash against black studies begin these courses would knocked away like so many bowling pins. Academics and textbook writers treated Black History as little more than a side light to real US history. It is time to end the racist white out and even correct exaggerations by some Blacks on Black contributions of History. Publishers should revise textbook that restrict African Americans to a few chapters on slavery, civil rights and jazz and fully incorporate black accomplishment and all chapters, schools administrators and teachers to make sure that black contributions are lace throughout the curriculum. From Science and Technology Humanities for example. In the area of Technology might recognize the black genius in there, and their contributions.
This month, should be design and built on the premise of Contemplation, Evaluation. As we celebrate our efforts based on the past 11 months. This is the period of establishing the frameworks for the next 11 months and celebration our success. Since Woodson's death in 1950. Now, nearly 105 years after its founding, one of the biggest challenges is keeping people engaged beyond February.
One cannot discuss the African American freedom struggle or the civil rights movement without paying attention to white allies who were working alongside black people, "One of biggest issues we see, especially for those non-black folks, is that the emphasis on black history is divisive and some mistakenly label it 'racist.
But, if we continue to emphasize that all Americans worked towards these common goals, then everyone can see themselves as part of the larger mission. The year 2020 marked the centennial of the 19th Amendment and the culmination of the 19th Amendment and the culmination of the women’s suffrage movement. It also marks the sesquicentennial of the 15th Amendment, which gave black men the right to vote 1870, following the Civil War.
Through voting-rights campaigns and legal suits from the turn of the 20th century to the mid-1960s, African Americans made their voices heard as to the importance of the vote Indeed the fight for black voting rights continues in the courts today. One can give witness the election of2021 with the First Black Woman Kamala Harris as Vice President of United States. Yet the struggle continues voter suppression, voting rights and other issues that tethered to this ongoing theme. Regaining our essence as a black people, who are now standing on the shoulders of those who came before us; those who sacrifice and died for us making their dreams and visions our reality. Its not a time to make or repeat great speeches, ( I HAD A DREAM) not only did our ancestors have a dream, but it was their vision that made it possible for us to be where we are today.
As we pick up the telephone we're all aware of Alexander Graham Bell, we failed to recognize the Brilliance of Glenville T Woods 1856 to 1910 this was the person who is and was recognized world over in his design of the phones and Telegraph systems and has over 60 patents on file. Let's not forget when you turn on your PC or laptop thanks to the genius of Mark Dean the person who developed the first computer peripheral input system making it possible to connect your fax printers and other accessories and in the same breath let's not forget the laser physicist and computer wizard Earl and Alan Shaw yes. Black History Month started in 1926 as a way to recognize the achievements of people of African descent. When it first began, the celebration lasted just a week.
Maybe they realized there were just too many good things to talk about in that short amount of time. Historian Carter G. Woodsen selected the second week of February because it coincided with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass the book titled the Mis –education of the Black man. To quote when you control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You did not have to tell him not to stand here or go Yonder. He will sign his proper place and we'll stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there's no back door he will cut one out for a special benefit is education makes it necessary Carter G Woodson author
Again my intent is not have the subject seen through the reifying lens of a romanticized nostalgia, IS this we are doing to our selves and our children ?
It's a wonderful time to step back and recognize the many great gifts African Americans have brought to our nation understanding the Suffering, Sacrifice and Success of a People is critical and important.
Just reflect on some names with me for a moment - Martin Delany, Frederick Douglass; Sojourner Truth; Harriet Tubman; Shirley Chisom, first woman who ran for president, Jesse Jackson first Black man who ran for president , Yes Barak H Obama our First Black President . MARCUS GARVEY, Martin Luther King Jr; Malcom X; Nikki Giovanni; W.E.B. Dubois; Rosa Parks. How different would our country be without these leaders and the myriad of others who fought for Civil Rights? Groups such as NAACP, CORE URBAN LEAUGE, THE ABB African Blood Brotherhood, The Deacons of Defense, The Black Panthers, Angela Davis, Stokely Carmichael SNIC , significance of the Harlem Renaissance and the Tuskegee Airmen, the REVOLUNIONARY Black conscious movement of the 60’&70s’These groups and individuals have helped us learn what strength is, what perseverance is. They broke down barriers, they stood against injustice, they helped us pull together as a nation and overcome our darkest days. These people and so many others helped us build toward a greater nation where people judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. Andit’s not just Civil Rights where African Americans have made their mark.
1. Allen Allensworth established the town of Allensworth in California 1904
2. William Sander Scarborough. He was an African American scholar and University President.
3. Lucy Laney was born. She was a Black educator and pioneer in secondary education.
4. Virginia Estelle Randolph was born. She was an African-American educator, social worker and humanitarian
1. David Crosthwait, Jr. was born on this date in 1898. He was an African-American Electrical and Mechanical Engineer.
2. He was an American inventor and engineer whose patented inventions revolutionized the sugar-refining industry.
3. Frank Mann in 1908. He was an African-American engineer and designer.
4. Dr. Caldwell McCoy, Jr. was born this date in 1933. He was an African-American Electrical Engineer.
1. inventor A.J. Beard patented the Railroad car-coupler.
2. Boykin attended Fisk University and from 1946-47, the Illinois Institute of Technology. He began his career as a laboratory assistant testing automatic controls for aircraft. One of Boykin's first achievements was a type of resistor used in computers, radios, television sets, and a variety of electronic devices. He is responsible for inventing the electrical device used in all guided missiles and IBM computers, plus 26 other electronic devices including a control unit
Dr. Hinerik Clark, Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop,, Dr. Marimba Ani, Dr. Amos Wilson, Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan ,Dr. Anthony Martin , Dr. George G.M. James, Dr.Chancellor Williams, Dr. Asa Hilliard III, Dr. Molefi Kete Asante, Haki R. Madhubut, Dr. John G Jackson, Dr. Carter G. Woodson
Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, Nikki Giovanni, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Jeremiah G. Hamilton. mid-1800s, Hamilton cores of newspapers reported that Hamilton was the richest non-white man in the country and that his estate was worth about $2 million, or about $250 million today. Madame C.J. Walker, Mary Pleasant, Biddy Mason, Annie Malone
what would music be without Louis Armstrong; Sam Cook, BB King, Aretha Franklin; Michael Jackson; Whitney Houston; Tupac Shakur; Nipsy Hustle, Beyonce. Without African American contributions to music we'd be without jazz, blues, rap, hip hop, R and B, and arguably, even rock and roll the list continues, Or how about these, - Literature Maya Angelou and Ralph Ellison. Science - George Washington Carver and Neil Degrasse Tyson. Sports - Michael Jordan Paul Roberson ,and The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Minister Louis Farrakhan Muhammad Ali. Politics - Condoleeza Rice and Barack Obama. The list could go on and on. African Americans have made enormous impacts in every single area of American life.
What makes this so amazing is that it has simply not been that long since black Americans were legally excluded from so many aspects of American life. For the young people here, I know it seems like ancient history, but for those of us with a few years on us, many of us have seen how much life has changed for African Americans even in the past few decades.
We should remember ‘Lets we forget our history the genesis of civilization began in Africa and the impact of the Black mans contributions to humanity and the evolution of cultural racism, to see the effects of institutional racism in our country. You can go back to events that happened in the lifetimes of many people here. The court case Brown versus Board of Education should have ended school segregation in 1954 and started us down the road to integration. Yet just a few years later, we see the Civil Rights Act of 1957. And then the Civil Rights Act of 1960, then the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Civil Rights Act of 1968 and on and on.
The laws kept coming to try to combat racism, but people kept on finding new ways to try to keep the status qou going. Fortunately, other people kept on fighting to beat back the injustice, to beat back the segregation and discrimination perpetrated on the black community. That struggle continues today.
That's part of why we gather here today to celebrate our history. We honor those who came before. We celebrate how far we've come as a society, but we also honor those who continue the struggle today - for the struggle is far from over.
Rev. C. Eziokwu Washington
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