Read, Watch, Listen
“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. ”- Martin Luther King Jr.
This month we honor black history, a history which has long been overlooked, and excluded from the general recollection of American history. A history which includes cultural influencers, incredibly bright minds, and beautiful lives. This history is a part of American history, yet we shape and white wash it to fit the nice narrative that works for us.
This month I challenge you, learn this history, the real history not the story book McGraw Hill version that we learned in grade school. Look for resources to educate yourself, ask for help of what to read/watch/listen to. If we take the time to get to know this history, it no longer is black history it is American history. And that is what is needed, to remove those divides that we have created over the years. So that we as one people can go about our lives in harmony rather than dissonance.
I am in no way saying that I know everything there is to know about black history in this country, this is as much a challenge to me as it is to you. We must make the time to learn, for ourselves, but more importantly for our future as a nation. Beautiful things can happen when we listen to people’s stories, we get to know who they really are, and history is the same way. That knowledge is key to building understanding across racial, socioeconomic, and geographical barriers.
In working with Neighborhood Hope I didn’t come into the organization knowing all about East Charlotte, in fact I really didn’t know anything. But, I listened, I asked, and I made mistakes that helped me grow. We don’t have to be perfect from the start, but we do have to try.
As Dr. King said, we must all decide if we are going to make this world better together or see it’s destruction through our own selfish gains.
https://www.history.com/it-was-said-podcast (MLK Jr., John Lewis, Barbara Jordan, Barak Obama)