The observance of Black History Month has been muted — due in part to all of the dysfunction that has been displayed.
Recognizing, celebrating, and observing the history of the African-American race is very important. What makes it important is the manner in which our ancestors were brought to the shores of America, hands tied and chains around their ankles.
It’s difficult to imagine the amount of pain, anguish, degradation, humiliation, and suffering on every level that each person experienced.
Can you imagine being free one day and enslaved the next, through no fault or personal commitment? How about being torn from your family members, never to see them again?
The state of Virginia, with all of its current problems, must face the racial problems that have engulfed it for 400 years. However, Virginia isn’t alone. In other states, the acceptance of African-Americans as equal in every way is still a major problem. We admit that as a race, we have made some progress, but it hasn’t been without severe cost in blood and suffering.
We’re aware that other races, even some whites have suffered indignation, as well. The difference is that most of the non-African-Americans chose to come to America, but Africans didn’t. Many times they were sold by their own people to the slave merchants. Those who sold their brothers and sisters became slaves themselves, eventually.
Our history also taught us that some of the Anglo race didn’t agree with slavery and stood up against it. I have had the pleasure to work with many individuals who fit that description. I know that not all people of the white race are racist. At this time we interact with our white brothers and sisters in order to make our community better.
We’re able to do this because we believe in what is written in Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and evidence of things not seen.”
Our hope strengthens our faith that there are those who truly believe that all men are created equal, and they’re willing to confront their own because of their belief.
Some of my local union members and I attended the National AFL-CIO Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil, Human and Women’s Conference a few weeks ago. While there, we joined thousands of other individuals of all races and ethnicities to protest against the ungodly governmental shutdown that affected hundreds of thousands of people.
As a result of the shutdown, the country lost about $11 billion dollars. During the entire debacle, the billionaire and others like him didn’t show one shred of empathy for the affected men, women and their families. As an African-American who has traced his ancestry, I’m strengthened through faith and hope in righteousness.
My sainted grandmother would say, “There is someone who sits high and looks low.” My 94-year-old friend, George Cash Jr. often says, “All good byes ain’t gone.”