My Quest To Teach

February 25, 2013

Importance of Black History Month

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Jackson @ 5:01 am

Importance of Black History Month

A reflection on generational responsibilities to progress.

Each generation of Black youth need to understand the
struggle and sacrifice Blacks endured to achieve equal
rights and tolerance in American society. Looking for
generational leaders, who will accept the responsibility
to guide and give each generation leadership in the 21st
century. Youth today have technology in hand by this
generation of youth, the ability to contribute to the
nation and world through digital manipulation, nurturing
and educating hearts and minds. The appreciation of
Black History Month is important because of what it
represents. Representing a culture that rises because of
the contributions of individuals. Each success is a bridge
that other Blacks can cross to contribute to the betterment
of the United States and the world.

“I am where I am because of the bridges that I crossed.
Sojourner Truth was a bridge. Harriet Tubman was a bridge.
Ida B. Wells was a bridge. Madame C. J. Walker was
a bridge. Fannie Lou Hamer was a bridge” Oprah Winfrey.

Black History Month is still needed in a country where
racism, Colorism, and hatred still are alive even with a
Black President. A nation that shows racism even in the
21st century by openly disrespecting the President and his
family. Black History Month is about education, appreciation
and dedication. Black History month is a celebration of what
Blacks have accomplished in a short time. Building pride
and dignity in Black people and emphasizing education.

BHM should continue to strengthen community’s year around,
not just once a year showing a window dressing of unity.
Parades, breakfasts, dinners and speeches are a brief memory,
what actions do they set in motion without generational
leaders to carry them through? Education is the key along
with dedication and appreciation of past sacrifices. Harriet
Tubman stated, “I freed thousands of slaves, and could have
freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves.”

Real work in education comes in churches, community
organizations and changing values. Defeating ignorance and
hatred, to get Black youth to understand that calling each other
“Nigger”, “Nigga”, is not prideful, but disrespects those that
have died to allow Blacks to be referred to as a human being
not just someone’s property. Malcolm X passionately asked,
“Who Are You?” in fierily speeches he asked where did
your name go, who took it and who made Blacks dumb as
to what their name is;
“Who Are You”

Women and girls openly call each other B*tch and Ho** on
television and in songs now elementary age girls call each
other that and worse, whose fault is that?

In the 21st century to say to a young brother, “pull up those pants”
do they realize what message this is sending? Don’t Blacks see
the message that is being sent to younger generations? Do Black
children realize the danger they put themselves in, the perception
of a society that incarcerates not educates? The chains of slavery,
not physical, but mental are present, too many Black youth are
mentally in chains. If someone has your mind, they have your
body and soul. It has been said metaphorically it will be difficult
for all of us to acknowledge our slave mentality because “the very
nature of mental slavery creates an illusion that we are free,”
Breaking the Chains of Psychological Slavery, Na’im Akbar, Ph.D.

150 years ago the 13th Amendment freed slaves physically,
slavery comes in many forms, modern day slaves are the bondage
of Black youth with chains and orange jump suits. Girls on welfare,
embracing EBT cards as prizes to be honored and celebrated.
Children even ask teachers now “Has your EBT card come in yet?”
Children do not respect the empowerment of education and parents
do not support learning. Black youth should prepare for future
careers in STEM (Science Technology Engineering
Mathematics), instead of complaining that science and math
are too hard.

The media; movies and music degrade Black women physically,
verbally and spiritually, and Blacks celebrate it claiming to have
arrived as Stars in a society that laughs at their accomplishments
of selling their bodies and souls as entertainers. Why are
Blerds, Nerds and Black Geeks not celebrated? These are the 21st
scientists, doctors, researchers, and explorers. Their efforts mean
more than a 4 minute song that calls for slapping and cursing
women, dealing drugs, and killing police officers. What happen to
the value of education and promoting those that are educated?

Racism is a fact of life for Black people in America; Blacks must
work diligently to support basic human rights, the right to support
Black businesses, the right to speak kindly to Black brothers and
sisters each day. The right to treat each other respectfully, Blacks
must respect actions not based on the color tones of skin, stopping
Colorism. Each generation working to be of value instead of
tolerated and feared. Blacks must seize all of the opportunities
presented, study hard, obtain as much education as possible and
support each other for growth and unity.

Black youth must always strive to better the next generation,
eliminating self hatred and elimination of Colorism. Powerful
words have been spoken by Malcolm X about education in preparing
Blacks for future careers; “Education is our passport to the future,
for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”

Each New Year is an opportunity to grow and make our
ancestors proud of our achievements, not shameful of our lack
of action and laziness to learn. Do Blacks need to go back to
slavery to be awaken again?


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