By OLEA HOKES, Staff Writer
I posted this simple question on my Facebook page a few days ago. I also, in collaboration of Black History Month, take a moment every morning to post a unsung history fact about a black inventor, poet, prophet, artist , etc…with a little bio about them with the hashtag #unsungblackhistorymonth. The reason I decided to do this you might ask? Not because I wanted to start a stir, or open the door for some radical person to blow up my Facebook feed? I did this because I’ve heard several people who went to see the movie Hidden Figures, come back upset because they didn’t know these ladies exist. Some of them felt that we as African Americans have been shielded and led to believe that there wasn’t anything positive about our history.
This is not true, go to the library even better get off Facebook and do some in depth research and educate yourself. This was my first thoughts, but I will come back to that later. After a few minutes went by, I started to get some feedback from some people.
“Without black history you would think black folks never did anything” stated Crystal Worley-Robinson. She also said, “It shouldn’t have to be a month set aside for it, it should be included in all school curriculum.” I must agree with her and of all the months in the calendar it’s dedicated to the shortest month in the year. Lastly, Crystal says “Black history is American history and this country’s history, the good, the bad and the ugly every American should know.”
Several others agreed to Crystal’s post, as she was the most powerful poster on the feed.
Yet another stated “It should be a party of history class, I want my black, Mexican, Indian and white grandchildren to know history.” When asked if I could use her name she didn’t comment.
Black History to me, expresses the legacy, power, struggle, sacrifice, courage and the endurance of a people, because we are all human beings struggling to make a difference in this world. We can’t move completely forward without the blood sweat and tears of those who came before us. This can be shared in any such people as each culture has had its share of pitfalls heartache and struggles. Some not as deep as the cut that blacks have had over the centuries. However, ask any Jewish American about the Holocaust, and the lives that were lost and you get the same kind of struggle.
I’ve always been one to say, how can you know one person’s struggle without knowing the person? With that said take a trip down to the Charles H. Wright Museum, walk the halls and read and soak in history. You might be surprised in what you might find. Until then, please continue to educate yourself because knowledge is power.
Noble Drew Ali (1886-1929)
The founder of the Moorish Science Temple of America in Newark NJ in 1923. Temple 25 is still going strong in Detroit.
Wilma Rudolph (1940-1994)
Despite being sickly as a child and wearing a brace on her left leg. Wilma Rudolph went on to compete in the 1956 Summer Olympic Games and in 1960 she became the first American woman to win three gold medals.
Edmonia Lewis (1844-1907)
American Sculptor of African and Native American Heritage. Some of her work is in the DIA.