Black History Month was first recognized in the United States in 1926. Dr. Carter G. Woodson began to document the history of African Americans, to give the world a true depiction of his culture in the history books. He not only changed the negative views that were once recognized as truth in the mainstream, but also gave African Americans hope that one day, they would be considered equal in the eyes of society.
Nearly 30 years later, a young prodigy entered the limelight to address the inequalities and racial segregation of African Americans. Known for his inspiring ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave a voice to the Civil Rights Movement and provided hope to a hopeless nation. His death in 1963 was a crush to the country, but his voice continued and continues to be heard today. In 1965, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, which gave ALL citizens, of all creeds and colors, the right to vote, without discrimination.
As we pay tribute to the African American history makers of the past and present, remember the sacrifices that have been made to ensure equality among all men and women of this great nation. Discard your own prejudices and recognize the beauty in each other. As Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently put it, let freedom ring!
“…When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’” Martin Luther King Jr. – ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech