This is my 20th year living in the United States and every day I am still learning the culture. Since it is February, I got a little curious about Black History Month. Where I am from, there is not a designated month for people because of their race. So I did some digging to find out the significance of this recognition.
The pioneer and “Father of Black History month” is Carter G. Woodson. Born in 1875 in Virginia, this kid started out helping his parents as a sharecropper and miner. Yet his mother turned his focus to the power of faith and education. So at 20 years old, he started High School. Knowing he was behind Woodson powered through and completed the four-year diploma in half the time. Obviously a gifted student his parents moved around to give him the best opportunity.
The best opportunity was not necessarily easily accessible. Remember there were restrictive laws on education, on public accommodations, housing, employment, transportation, hospitals to name a few. This was no easy feat. Black people did not have certain freedoms. To preserve their lives, they had to be the help or stay out of sight.
Yet Woodson got a solid education, moved away to teach in the Philippines and stayed in action until he got his Ph.D. from Harvard. Though this is summarized I cannot begin to imagine how much mental strength, faith, and perseverance it took for him to accomplish these things. But I also understand that he had support, his own drive, and divine guidance.
He became a historian and wrote multiple books to bring black history out of the shadows and into the light. First, he lobbied to get a week to celebrate the accomplishments, then he pushed for a month. He chose February because it is the month Abraham Lincoln was born. He eventually succeeded.
Can you imagine an America without acknowledging the contributions of successful black people? Can you imagine if kids had no role models that powered through impossible circumstances and through education changed the course of their lives and created a legacy for following generations? Thanks to Carter G. Woodson we don’t have to find out.
So when you ask the question, what is the big deal, like I did, every time you see an image of someone celebrated remember we can all learn from their lives. They all had someone to cultivate greatness in them. Someone took the time when they were children to promote swimming against the current because difficult situations will always be present but humans were built to tackle hard things. A mother or father practiced seeking divine guidance when faced with insurmountable problems. After praying they listened for the answers and took action towards the solution. After completing one accomplishment, these people kept pushing themselves higher! And boy oh boy, they did fly!
Today, I pay tribute to Carter G. Woodson.
Whose life can you learn from? Who can you pay tribute to? Find a black role model today and share a quote from them that inspires you on social media or in the comment below! Share this rich history with your kids or the kids around you, so they can also learn because this is the universal truth we were made to tackle hard things! (Philippians 4:13)
Check out my quote from Carter on twitter @radicalmediaex1. Share your inspirational quote to help someone push past their roadblocks.
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