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Black History Month: Cause For Celebration, Also Time For Prayer

As we celebrate Black History Month, let us continue to pray for peace in this chaotic world that we live in, that our courageous soldiers are back at home and free from devastating occurrences they encounter on a daily basis in Iraq.

War is hell! But the security and welfare of our country are at stake and must be protected!

Why We Celebrate Black History Month

Black History Month is a time for African-Americans to reflect on their heritage, their culture, their rich history as a people. It is also a time to pay homage to those great men and women who left their footprints in the sands of time, in their own special way.

Moreover, it is a time to re-evaluate, to re-assess future goals and to recommit ourselves to the continuous struggle for justice and equality in a country that has yet to provide every American citizen the same opportunity to jobs, education, housing, healthcare and equal rights – in this land of plenty.

The struggle continues! And it will continue until every American – regardless of race, color or creed, can share in this great big melting pot.

As we celebrate Black History, we must make a concerted effort to build bridges for tomorrow, build upon our communities, support African-American businesses, support black institutions and preserve those things already accomplished through the civil rights and voting rights struggles; and never take our eyes off the prize.

Let us also remember the contributions of :

Charles R. Drew, father of blood plasma

Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil Rights leader and Nobel Peace laureate

Ralph Bunche, Nobel Peace laureate, and one of the highest ranking Americans in the United Nations

W.E.B. Dubois, scholar of international reputation and merit

Paul Laurence Dunbar, poet of dialect

Langston hughes, writer of Negro life in poems, short stories, novels and television scripts

Sojourner Truth, abolitionist who toured the nation denouncing slavery and injustice

Booker T. Washington, educator, lecturer

George Washington Williams, great black historian of the 19th Century

Malcolm X, religious leader and revolutionary

Elijah Muhammad, religious leader

James Weldon Johnson, author of “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, known as the Black national anthem

Hank Aaron, the superstar who led his team to two pennants and won the national league’s MVP award in 1957; a batting average of .322, and hit his 648th homer in 1972 at the age of 38

Robert S. Abbott, founder, editor and publisher of the Chicago Defender

Marian Anderson, one of the greatest contralto voices in history; opened up the doors of concert halls previously closed to African Americans

Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, the world’s greatest trumpet player

Crispus Attucks, the first martyr of the American Revolution killed in the Boston Massacre

Benjamin Banneker, scientist, mathematician, astronomer, clock-maker and surveyor

Mary McCleod Bethune, educator and humanitarian

Others: Mahalia Jackson, Nat Turner, Medgar Evers, Marcus Garvey, Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable

Frederick Douglass, lecturer, abolitionist, publisher of the New National Era, the first Black to serve as Recorder of Deeds and a U.S. minister to Haiti. Douglass as well as Robert Purvis, Frances Ellen Watkins, James Forten, Jr., Martin Delaney, Charles Remond, William C. Neil, William Wells Brown, Henry H. Garnet and other black abolitionists worked to free the slaves.

George Washington Carver, developed 300 systhetic products from the peanut, 118 products from sweet potatoes, and 60 products from pecan nuts

Carter G. Woodson, the “Father of Black History”.

Woodson preserved a large portion of black history through his organization, Associated Publishers, producers of publications on black life and culture; and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. One of Woodson’s most quoted book creations is “Mis-Education of the Negro”.

Woodson said (an exerpt), …If you make a man feel that he is inferior, you do not have to compel him to accept an inferior status, for he will seek it himself. If you make a man think that he is justly an outcst, you do not have to order him to the back door. He will go without being told; and if there is no back door, his very nature will demand one…”

And many, many more…

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