Celebrate Black History Month

KingHappy Friday, All!

I’m just trying to tell somebody … T.G.I.F!!! Hope each of you had a great week. It is always appreciated that you read these pieces. Of course, it all comes from a desire to share with others some of the things I experience, or things going on around us. Since I pick and choose my topics, which most of you know is usually spiritual in nature, it is the actual writing and sharing that I enjoy. Perhaps, some of you might not appreciate the e-mails, which I place on my blog; so once again, feel free to let me know if you would like to be removed from this list. Obviously, if you are reading the blog, you have chosen to “go there”! So, thanks!

Every year when Black History Month rolls around, I have mixed emotions and actually seek a topic that goes with my style. In regards to having a month, yes, only a month for Black History, I say, “Yayyy!” As a history teacher in New York some years ago, I realize how much stuff I left out. The African American experience in this country, not to mention the world, is quite unique. There are places around the world and circumstances where the culture and ancestry of Africans who came to America through slavery is respected, mimicked or even imitated. There are also places as well as circumstances in which we see the ugliness of racism raise its head horribly and haughtily high. The history of movies and television is one area where we can clearly see the double standard for “blacks” and the roles they play until very recently. There are many controversies that have arisen from movies like “Red Tails” or “Django:Unchained” and the roles that African Americans played and their specific scripts. We used to have “The Jeffersons”, “Good Times” even “Different Strokes”! I won’t forget to mention the movie “Roots” and the racial discussions it precipitated.

We are living in a country, or if not, witnessing the fact that in the U.S.A. there is an African American president who has been elected to two terms as “leader of the free world”, which both facts come into question from time to time. Still the fact is there is an intelligent man with impeccable leadership and human qualities who is also African American … and slender and has two beautiful little girls and a lovely wife in the White House!!! So, while we’ve had the likes of Nelson Mandela in our times and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in our midst, not to mention Rosa Parks and numerous representatives in Congress as well as local office holders of African American origins, we have representation in every field of sports, television and movies, music and the fashion industry as well. Some of the leading business moguls like Sean Jean Combs and Jay Z represent for African Americans, too.

I hope that we each do whatever we like … listen to something black, eat some black cuisine or read about someone black … but to focus on the contributions, the history, the uniqueness and greatness of African Americans in our world today … and yesterday! Today is the first day of Black History Month so we have lots of time to explore. “Just Do It!”

Enjoy the Super Bowl Game and Festivities!

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

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