Every February, we are kindly reminded of the contributions of many black Americans. We reflect on the bravery and courage of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, who through the process of abolition, liberated many and validated the cause of freedom.
We embrace the legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr and Rosa Parks who braved the hostility of racism and hatred and paved the way for many to access the American dream with their dreams of equality and justice.
Black history is rich with many stories of heroism, but is it far more than a storybook and a history lesson. It is modern day life. It is the life that we are currently living.
I am far more convinced now that a legacy isn’t formed when one takes up final residence in a grave and others begin to articulate how they lived their lives. A legacy isn’t created on a epitaph or a monument with glorious quotes, but it is created in what we do in the present to preserve the future.
This current generation of black Americans are now living their legacy. It is simply up to them on how this legacy is presented.
I encourage black Americans to live as a victor. When we take opportunities that are advantageous for us to become empowered, we enhance our history.
I am here today to declare that we can have access to a good quality education. We can possess the entrepreneurial spirit and become successful and produce thriving families, which in essence, would contribute to a thriving community.
Our success in life is not contingent on how big a role government promises to play in our lives, but it is dependent upon morals, faith, our values, hard work, and the sole determination to rise from the ashes of low living and partake of the promises given to us by our Creator.
We must speak to the mountains of despair within our community and command them to be removed. We must exchange prison cells that occupy many black men for educational study halls, colleges and corporate offices. We must substitute the lack of a father figure in many black homes for a two-parent unit, which provides mobility and strength in a family.
Most importantly, we must acknowledge that Almighty God is the source of our provisions and strength, and that he enables us to make choices that will have a great impact in our families, communities, and nation.
Black history is only vital if we preserve it. We can preserve it by deciding to free ourselves from any chains of social or economic bondage that would attempt to keep us in a low state of mind.
The future lies within our hands. Those that went before us should be honored and remembered, but the responsibility is now up to us. We are black history.