Today marks the beginning of Black History Month. It is a time to acknowledge the significant contributions made to our nation’s history and culture by black Americans. I’ve noticed that there is always some sort of backlash when it comes to celebrating Black History Month. For instance, there are those who complain that it is divisive and that there could never be a “White History Month”. The response to that is simple: Have you ever read an American history book? I’ll just leave it at that. This month isn’t about separatism, it’s about an honest and nuanced look into who we are as a nation. Furthermore, celebrating Black History Month in no way diminishes the contributions made by other ethnicities who had a part in building our country.
The unfortunate truth is that the history of black people in America has been tragically oversimplified and underrepresented. Black history is filled with struggle, redemption, diversity, beauty, perseverance, and substance. Black history is a wonderful thread that is woven into the tapestry of the United States of America. Black history is American history. If you want to see shining examples of God’s sovereign grace at work, I challenge you to study Black history. You will find story after story of men, women, and children who had important roles in shaping art, music, poetry, theology, politics, agriculture, science, the military, academics, sociology, sports, and much more. These brave and gifted Americans should not be among our best kept secrets. There are countless figures waiting to be discovered and to have their stories told. This endeavor would serve to benefit us all.
Throughout the month, I’ll be sharing different profiles of black Americans that you typically will not read about in most of our history books. Their stories will enrich your life and perspective.
If you don’t know how Black History Month came to be, here is a link to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.