Monday, February 28, 2005

Terrance Highlights the people for Black History Month

Terrance: If I can squeak in on the last day of Black History Month, I'd like to highlight the people. That includes the brave leaders like MLK, Rosa Parks, Julian Bond, Angela Davis and countless others. But it also includes the people whose names will never know.

People who responded to a single act of bravery, a single person using their power of "no" to say I won't go along, I won't be silent and invisible. When someone takes a brave stand, it means nothing if others don't notice and respond. It's like that old question about a tree: If a tree falls in a forest and no one's around . . .

People have been touched by bravery in the face of tragedy and intimidation, moved by courage.
And that includes many African-Americans. But in the civil rights movement, there were other races helping in the struggle as well. The same is true of the movement to abolish slavery.

I don't know if it is the courage of a brave stand that people respond to or if people just begin to realize as a result that we are all interconnected and therefore realize that the struggle is for all of us, for the good of our nation.

This touches on some of the things Lonnie was talking about on Saturday. Black History Month does and should highlight some powerful leaders and achievers who have bring pride to our race. But it's not just about African-Americans. It's about a struggle by many for the betterment of all, for the good of the nation.

When I look at the history, I see many people who deserve to stand out but I also know that there are many people behind a Malcolm X or a Shirley Chisholm who heard a call and responded and spoke out.

A lot of find individuals got mentioned this month and I want to thank everyone who highlighted someone or an event. I hope we can do this again next year. (And that African-American women will be present among the women highlighted in March for Women's History Month.)

But I'd like to close by naming three individuals I hope we can address next year: June Jordan, Frederick Douglass and A. Philip Randolph. (Next year, I'll get off my butt and write something on at least one of them.)