What black history means to me

  • Published
  • By Col. Gerald Curry
  • 99th Security Forces Group Commander
Black History Month is the one period during the year that allows all Americans to learn about the accomplishments of black Americans.

The American tapestry is composed of people from every country on the globe and recognizing their collective talents is the one single trait that makes this country great. Black people alone were brought to America for one distinct purpose and that was slavery.

Since slavery was an economic decision, the welfare and freedom of slaves was not a primary concern or consideration for most Americans. Blacks were viewed as property to be used, worked and traded.

The United States is the world leader in fostering freedom and equal treatment of all mankind. The foundation of strength of this nation is rooted in our diversity. Black History Month reminds us that we are better than our past. It provides the passion and motivation for redefining our purpose of embracing others with deeper skin tones, speaking with an unusual sounding dialect or dressing a little differently.

Black History Month should offer new insights for some and allow others to tell of the struggles of a people with a tarnished past, and how they endured severe injustices and overcame harsh realities to become a positive role in developing this great nation. Black History Month should illustrate what is truly good about this country and provide living examples of our untapped potential.

Black History Month has evolved from Negro History Week, started by Dr. Carter G. Woodson in 1926, and has evolved into a special period in our nation's calendar where celebrations and forums occur to recognize their many accomplishments. It has only been in the last twenty years that the heroic feats and ingenious inventions made by blacks have become mainstreamed.

Consequently, many Americans, both black and white, are still unaware of the tremendous milestones made by African Americans.

What does Black History Month mean to me? Well, it means everything. The shoulders that we stand on are broad and wide and provide the foundation of support for an exciting future inspired with love and understanding for a people who are survivors.

During the month of February, allow yourself to be enlightened by stories of a people with a colorful past and promising future.