Writing Prompt: Is There Still a Need for Black History?
I sent out emails to some writers featured on Cry Redemption with this prompt: Is there still a need for Black History, since the election of America’s President Barack Obama? The following is Le’bert A. Gordon’s response.
I find the audacity that such a question must be asked thought provoking. How were we as a race of people able to overcome brutality, subjugation, intolerance, oppression, and castration? Are we to forget and not continue to honor those who have sacrificed their lives for the little freedoms we enjoy today? Are we not uplifted and inspired by those African Americans who have contributed so much to America and the world society at large?
We now live in a society where all little African American boys and girls can, not only dream like our beloved brother Martin Luther King, Jr. once did, but can actually achieve becoming the President and First Lady, in an entrenched racist society such as the United States of America, like Barack and Michelle Obama.
If, because of the statement I’ve made above, you believe we as African Americans have achieved true racial equality in the United States of America, you’re sadly mistaken. You only have to look to the recent happenings which took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, the racist statements made by the Congresswoman of Alabama, and the current crises taking place with the Governor and Attorney General of Virginia regarding their insensitivity to wearing “black face” as a joke.
There is a very famous saying: “If you forget from where you came, there’s a good chance you may repeat it.” The sad legacy of our history that some would like to forget and bury is that we African Americans were forcefully brought to this country by brutal means in wretched and deplorable conditions-chained like livestock, at the bottom of slave ships-across nine thousand miles of ocean. We survived, only to be sold into the forced servitude of our slave maters. Yet still we survived.
But we didn’t just survive, we persevered even when there seemed to no hope. Brave men and women stood up against oppression. Not just with their physical rebellions, but also with their intellectual minds—an element the slave masters could not defeat.
We must try to keep Black History alive in the hearts and minds of our children, and in the conscience of the American people. So that never again will any race of people in this great country of ours be subjugated to second-class citizenship, be de-humanized, or be treated barbarically because of the color of their skins. But rather, we must regard men for the intellect of their minds and the contents of their characters.
Today, we have an obligation to uphold the rich and great legacy of our African American Activist Leaders, Academic Scholars, Inventors, Liberal & Fine Arts, and Scholastic and Athletic achievers. There are too many to name. As a young boy, it blew me away to learn that it was a black man, George Washington Carver who first invented Peanut Butter, and Luis Howard Latimer who contributed to the invention of the light bulb.
They have allotted us February as the Month to celebrate our rich and proud history and I encourage each and everyone to take full advantage of those 28 days to share with your children and to reminisce and even celebrate with others our great accomplishments. But, while doing so, never become comfortable as if we’ve made it. But rather, also strive to work individually and collectively to empower and enrich the legacy of our Black History here in America and all over the world. Yes, there’s still a need for Black History!!!
Written by: Author Le’bert A. Gordon
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