As African American History Month comes to a close, let’s not close down our awareness and forward momentum. During the month of February, we bring into close focus the impact of our greatest leaders and changemakers who have help change the landscape of America over the past several decades. We remember the iconic words of Martin Luther King, Jr., the brave actions of Rosa Parks, the strong advocacy of Booker T. Washington, among many other impactful African Americans.
Our world needs these change-makers. We thrive on the smart, bold, and willing citizens who proudly stand and defend what they believe and pave the way for those coming behind them. We also must be willing to look at the future of Black History. But in order to look forward, we must take a moment to look back. This month evolved from a day. Alveda King said, “Black History Month began as Black History Day. It's now African American History Month; still playing catch up. We are praying for the day of not being colorblind...we long for living color, [the] One Race, One Blood of Acts 17:26.”
King makes a good point. Black History Month was established in 1976. After 42 years of celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of African Americans, we still see color.
Looking forward, we must do better to see others as our neighbors, our brothers and sisters, our family made from one blood. After all, history has proven that the color of our skin has never been a representation of the content of our character nor has our character been a representation of the color of our skin. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream has yet to be recognized. What will we do to take action to see this change through on his behalf? It’s not confined to February.
What will black history look like 50 years from now? Who are our change-makers of today? Are we encouraging today’s African Americans to take a stand and make a change that will be looked back on as a pivotal moment in America’s history? Will we still only examine those contributors in February?
It is difficult to ignore a major issue among African Americans: abortion. What if the leaders who have significantly changed the landscape of America had never been born? What if their mothers had decided their lives didn’t matter? With young black women the primary target of the abortion industry, we have to imagine that perhaps those innovators are dying before given the chance to live, before being given the chance to be great. “Some leaders may never have been born. We will never know, at least while we are still looking back,” said Alveda King. “In 50 years the millennials will be the elders looking back at a longer list of heroes past.”
In 50 years, we have hope that we will be able to look back on 2018 and have an even larger group of individuals, of all races, who have impacted race relations, the pro-life movement, and equality.