When You Think About It. African American History Month
You may be hearing the year 1619 quite a bit lately. It’s a seminal date in African American history as it was the year when 20 black African slaves were introduced into what would eventually become The United States of America at the nascent Jamestown settlement in Virginia. It is therefore often cited as the beginning of the black African presence here.
That may be a convenient date. However, the history of Africans in The New World is much longer and much more complicated.
The presence of black Africans in the Americas, mostly as slaves, can be traced back to the late 1400’s with their presence in what would become part of the modern United States as early as 1526.
That’s a nearly 500-year presence.
And, for far too much of that time, Africans have born the burden of bondage in one form or another. Remember, millions of others came to these shores bearing hardship and tragedy, but virtually only black Africans were brought here completely against their will and literally in chains.
Now, we say we have made progress with eliminating racism like that’s a badge of honor! But shouldn’t we be questioning why our society is so deeply rooted in racism in the 1st place???
But have we really?
Just to prove how far we still must go, another young black man was literally beaten to death for mostly just being BLACK — and in the ultimate irony, by 5 other black policemen!!
So, yes, February is African American, a.k.a. Black History Month when we celebrate the contributions, against incredible odds, of our black brothers and sisters, but what does it really MEAN?! If there is no justice, there can be no ultimate peace.