The first day of Black History Month opened with the 44th NAACP Image Awards shedding a light on Black America’s history: past, present and future. While celebrating Black history, the award show brought about by the organization formed in 1909 to showcase the best of the best in Black America made its own history by garneromg its highest viewership ever. Even though the current NAACP President, Ben Jealous, has come under fire amongst many other Black people who dare to criticize, challenge or disagree with President Obama, who seems to have rather polarized Black America into a you are either with us or against us period of existence, instead of the unity of a people he was thought to or had hoped to bring about; it seemed the 44th awards night much like the 44th President’s inauguration was a day that conspired to inspire not only Black America, but all of America to be proud, and to do more in building a new inclusive American dream reminiscent of the way we were, within a new scope of the dream that is even better than the one that has been deferred. Making a lasting history and winning as a people is not about 1 person’s acheivement in breaking racial barriers or having 1 Black president because if that was the case then Africa as a continent would be far ahead of her Diaspora, but reality shows us that the work is never done by us or for us in challenging the status quo no matter who is in charge of keeping it in existence. Here are some of the great moments that did exactly that in celebrating Black History month and in continuing to conspire to inspire.
“The group most devastated by America’s obsession with the gun is African-Americans. Although making comparisons can be dangerous, there are times when they must be noted. America has the largest prison population in the world. Of the over 2 million men, women and children who make up the incarcerated, the overwhelming majority is Black. They are the most unemployed, the most caught in the unjust systems of justice, and in the gun game, we are the most hunted. The river of blood that washes the streets of ur nation flows mostly from the bodies of our Black children. Yet as the great debate emerges on the question of the gun, White America discusses the constitutional issue of ownership, while no one speaks of the consequences of our racial carnage. The question is ‘where is the raised voice of Black America? Why are we mute? Where are our leaders, our legislators? Where is the Church?” Harry Belafonte @the NAACP AWARDS!
Today Marks the 100th birthday of Rosa Parks and the unveiling of a US postal stamp in her honor. Let’s remember that it takes more the symbolism to create change sometimes you have to agitate the sytem enough to force it to change.
“Have you ever been hurt and the place tries to heal a bit, and you just pull the scar off of it over and over again…There had to be a stopping place, and this seemed to be the place for me to stop being pushed around. I had decided that I would have to know once and for all what rights I had as a human being and a citizen, even in Montgomery, Alabama… Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome…Each person must live their life as a model for others…At the time I was arrested I had no idea it would turn into this. It was just a day like any other day. The only thing that made it significant was that the masses of the people joined in…All I was doing was trying to get home from work… My only concern was to get home after a hard day’s work…I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would be also free…” Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005)
“Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was born on February 4, 1913. Her life inspired millions of people and challenged the conscience of our Nation. Her refusal to give up her seat on a bus on December 1, 1955, inspired a civil rights movement that led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act on July 2, 1964. “When I made that decision,” she later said, “I knew that I had the strength of my ancestors with me.”… We stand on the shoulders of Rosa Parks, and so many other leaders who struggled and worked to ensure our country’s founding principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are achievable for everyone… On today’s anniversary, President Obama proclaims: “It has taken acts of courage from generations of fearless and hopeful Americans to make our country more just. As heirs to the progress won by those who came before us, let us pledge not only to honor their legacy, but also to take up their cause of perfecting our Union….” READ MORE