Monday, February 12, 2007

Every February is Black history Month in the United States. It is a time to remind ourselves of the great achievements and sufferings of Blacks in this country.

I have always been aware of the importance of this month for society as a whole. It is important to highlight the contributions of various segments of society. It is also crucial to educate those who lack awareness to the sacrifices that were made by those upon whose sweat and tears the economic foundation of this country depended.

For the first time in my life, I actually took the time to consider the significance of this month to me, as an individual. What brought this about? Well, I realized that for as long as I could remember, this was the first February where any reference to Black History Month was limited to commercials on entertainment channels. I have not caught many commercials recognizing the Month but did catch the Coca Cola ad that was shown Superbowl Sunday.

Anyway, after a lot of thought, I must say thank you to all those who marched, rioted, boycotted, cried and died to make America a place where black people can and do have opportunities. Thank you to the usual suspects - Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman and W.E.B. Du Bois. Thank you to the nameless faces whose names I cannot mention that lost their lives in the struggle for equality.

It is the courage and strength of the activists (peaceful or not), the intellectuals and all who played a part big or small that have paved a path for me, a Nigerian, to be here and to succeed. The struggles against discrimination also influenced my forefathers in the quest for Pan Africanism and freedom from colonial slavery.

I cannot imagine living in the America that was but have great hope that the America that is to come will be one that honors the sacrifices of those who have come and gone.

To learn more about the history of Black History Month, please visit The Origins of Black History Month.

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NneomaMD said...

I know this is an old post, but I will still comment anyway. I think all minority groups in the US owe alot to all the blacks who marched and protested during the civil rights movement. Their sacrifice benefits Nigerian Americans, Asian Americans, and all other-Americans.

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