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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Pastor Nelda’s Notes: Black History Month – never the end goal

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?Every February when the nation recognizes Black History Month to celebrate the accomplishments of Black Americans, some inevitable questions are raised.? {{more:? continue …}}
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Do we still need to celebrate Black History Month?
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Black History Month is not only still relevant but necessary. But first, let?s take a quick look at how this observance began.
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While earning a master?s degree from the University of Chicago and a Ph. D from Harvard, both in history, historian Carter G. Woodson saw how Black people were underrepresented in history books. He was determined to correct this marginalization, which he viewed as dangerous.
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?If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile traditions, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated,? Woodson said of the need for such study.
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Woodson began to realize his hopes of raising awareness of African-American contributions when he and the organization he founded, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), conceived and announced Negro History Week in 1925.
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Negro History Week was first celebrated during the second week of February in 1926 because it is the birth month of both President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
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In 1976, the nation?s bicentennial, the celebration was expanded to a month. President Gerald Ford urged Americans to ?seize the opportunity to honor the too-often-neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.?
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That?s the brief history.
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There are many reasons we should continue to celebrate Black History Month today.

First, the month long celebration is needed because African-American history is still largely unknown and underappreciated.
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Secondly, though many people understand that Black American culture is essential to the understanding of American culture, particularly in music, many do not know how African-American history is intractably tied to the founding, development and evolution of America ? politically, economically and culturally.
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Also, the history of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement is too important to an accurate understanding of U.S. history for students not to know it. Yet a Southern Poverty Law Center study showed that most states fail when it comes to teaching the Civil Rights Movement to students.
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The history of Black Americans is a testament to the human spirit. Despite enslavement and centuries of brutal discrimination, many Black Americans became creators of a strategy for living and triumphed over their conditions with faith, resilience and dignity. Knowledge of this history can inform and uplift those who are struggling to overcome life?s challenges.
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Black History Month was never the end goal. It is the beginning ? a small spark that hopefully will bring light to the minds of all Americans to seek more information for greater knowledge and understanding.
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See you on Sunday!

“I don’t know how but I know WHO!”
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Peace

Pastor Nelda
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Kennedale First United Methodist Church is located at 229 W 4th St, Kennedale, TX 76060. Find out more @ The Mission Store and @ First United Methodist Church Facebook ?

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