Celebrating Black History Month

John Warren

By John E. Warren
The San Diego Voice & Viewpoint Newspaper

This year, perhaps more than ever, we need to be especially mindful of Black History. This time of banning books from local libraries, especially those that tell of the history and struggle of Black Americans against slavery and racism, pose a threat to both our presence and our future. It has often been said that if you don’t know where you come from, you will have no idea of where you are going. Well, African Americans in particular must remember that we are here today because of strong ancestors who did not allow the circumstances under which they lived, to stuff out their dreams of a future for themselves and their descendants.

We must remind ourselves that we are not to be defined by others; that we are not disadvantaged, or handicapped; that we are born with a right to equality and that we have always demanded equity even though others have tried to deny it to us. We are “We The People”. We must not allow the changes that have been removed from our bodies to be placed on our minds. We have the ability to remove ourselves from poverty by using the tools in our hands. We must remember that we now possess everything that Dt. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of when in his 1957 speech he said “give us the ballot and we will place the right people in office to in essence, further our cause. Today, so many of us have not because we will not use that which we do have. We have freedom of movement, of thought and how we use our minds. Yet,so many choose to squander these freedoms on how others tell us we should think and dress and what we should be with the few dollars that so many of us waste on things that are not necessary. We have freedom of worship, yet so many of us don’t bother to pray until we find ourselves in crisis.

In addition to Black History, Carter G. Woodson, left us a most valuable book, “The Miseducation of the Negro”. It’s time to honor is gift of Black History with our own personal contributions to the times in which we live and those we share this life experience with. Only when we engage in this level of thought and activity while making black history a daily experience, can we truly honor what we have been given beyond the month of February each year. Where do you stand and what are  you doing with what you have been given? Let’s move beyond complaints and expectations by others to what each of us can do right where we stand. Let’s get back to defending ourselves and not allowing others to do it for us.