Americans celebrate Black History Month every February to recognize the heritage and achievements of African Americans. This practice was started in 1926 as a week-long celebration that grew from an initiative by Carter G. Woodson, a brilliant and highly successful son of enslaved people.
President Gerald Ford designated February as Black History Month in 1976. He urged every American to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Since then, every U.S. president has issued a proclamation in honor of Black History Month. In addition, countries all over the world dedicate a month to celebrating Black History Month.
Why does Crown of Glory celebrate Black History Month?
To celebrate our diverse backgrounds and bring awareness to the idea that we are all unique and we all have something to contribute. We recognize that diversity is beautiful. It gives us a chance to celebrate and publicly honor the achievements of African Americans.
To unite us as a people of faith and to make us stronger as neighbors by learning about people from different cultures and backgrounds. It helps us understand how we are all connected. It feels good when we can celebrate together and recognize our strengths and participate in cultural events. We feel more connected when we celebrate together.
To learn more about the richness of African American history. Yes, we all know about Martin Luther King Jr. and the importance of the non-violent actions he used to stand up against injustices. But what about other, less known people of color who have contributed to our society? Here are few that you might not have known about:
Thomas Edison may have invented the light bulb, but Lewis Howard Latimer created a carbon filament to make the light bulb safer to use and last longer. This made the light bulb practical and affordable for everyday use.
Sojourner Truth, a former slave, helped many other slaves escape to freedom. Even though she was not able to learn or write, she sued the federal government when her five-year-old son was taken into slavery. She won his freedom seven years before the start of the civil war. She was the first Black woman to win such a case against a white man.
The sign on the front of our building declares our values and beliefs, including “reject racism” and “celebrate diversity.” We follow the example of Jesus when we acknowledge all people as equals. 1 Corinthians 12:13 says, “ For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-Jews or Greeks, slaves or free-and all were made to drink of one Spirit.”
What will you do to celebrate Black History Month? Will you participate in a cultural celebration? Read a book or listen to a speaker? Watch a movie or a television special? Find out more about the contributions of other Black Americans? Any and all of these things will enrich us as people and as Christians.