Black History Month.
Black history is so nuanced it needs more than a month.
What do people do these days to remember or honor historical milestones?
Do you watch a few movies? Which ones? Hotel Rwanda? Sometimes in April? The Last King of Scotland?
Do we even remember those stories and events?
Do you read modern authors? Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie? Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe?
My Bondage, My Freedom, by Frederick Douglass.
Did you know that on June 26, 1889, President Benjamin Harrison appointed Douglass to serve as the Minister Resident and Consul General of the United States to Haiti?
Do you look up particular event, or is it a fleeting thought because the radio mentions it?
I always say rewinding the past, particularly holding on to pain, inhibits our healing.
However, taking some time to reflect, understand, and honors a different thing.
The struggle has been real--we know this.
I was watching a show where they talked about Sojourner Truth.
I LOVE this picture of her. The woman looks fierce and confident. Yaaaaaas, sis, yaaaaaaaaaaas!
She was an African American evangelist, abolitionist, women's rights activist, and author who lived a miserable life as a slave, serving several masters throughout New York before escaping to freedom in 1826. She was a women's rights activist and outspoken about racial inequalities.
How the historians explain it, is that she got up randomly at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in 1851 and delivered this...
"Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the Negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what’s all this here talking about? That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman? Then they talk about this thing in the head; what’s this they call it? [member of audience whispers, “intellect”] That’s it, honey. What’s that got to do with women’s rights or Negroes’ rights? If my cup won’t hold but a pint and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full? Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ‘cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him. If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it. The men better let them. Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain’t got nothing more to say."
Take some time this month to look up a historical event. Give blessings and thanks to what has progressed since then.
Thanks for being here.