As we are bringing Black History Month to a close. I want us to always remember we are black everyday and not just during the month of February. I want us to focus on how we can continue to make history. Our history and heritage is not just behind us. It is very much in front of us as well. Our history doesn’t end with the great before us like Dr. King, Maya Angelou, Kobe Bryant (just to name a few from different genres, and time periods). Every day that we have on this earth is a day we can impact others in our communities.
I want us to take a moment to think about and discuss some of our youth who have made history for African Americans. We seldomly forget about our youth. Let’s start by taking it back.
Ruby Bridges- Age 6. She was the first black student to go to an all white school. She was the first to desegregate at William Frantz Elementary school.
Claudette Colvin- Age 15. As a child Claudette stood up for what she believed in. She was actually the first African American to not give up her seat on the bus for a white person.
“Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.” – Dr. Mae Jemison
Now let’s fast forward to more recent times.
Mari Copeny- Age 8. As a small girl she had a big voice. Mari helped bring attention to the FLint water crisis and made great efforts to secure water for the community.
Mo’ne Davis- Age 12- Mo’ne said and proved that the Little League was not just for boys. She was the first African American girl to play in the Little Leagues World Series. She was the first girl to earn a win and pitch a shutout in all of Little League World Series history.
Celai West- Age 14. She may be 14 now but Celai was much younger when she started modeling. Celai gives our young black girls someone to admire. At the age of 10 Celai was a model, actress, activist, author and CEO.
Simone Biles - Age 25. She is 25 years of age now. Simone was just a young girl when she fell in love with gymnastics. She is another prime example for our youth that you can do anything you put your mind to. Simone worked extremely hard and made her way to being an Olympic champion.
Ok fellas we know that there were a lot of ladies. We haven’t forgotten about you.
"We must never forget that Black History is American History. The achievements of African Americans have contributed to our nation's greatness." – U.S. Representative Yvette Clarke of New York
Nicholas Jackson - Age 13. Nicholas is a 5 generation cowboy native of Maryland. He was the first from the Northwest to win the competition and became the Junior World Bull Riding Champion.
Quinton Byfield- Age 18. Quinton is the highest drafted black hockey player in the NHL. He was picked number 2 overall.
David Price- Age 18. David wanted to make a difference in his community. He wanted to make it safer. He created the safety pouch. This pouch makes it safer for people of color to be safe during traffic stops. It is an orange pouch that holds your ID and documents that easily stick to your car window.
This is just a few examples of how wonderful the children are in our black communities. It's up to us to keep this momentum going. Keep motivating and encouraging our youth. You're never too young or too old to make history. Let’s keep living in a positive light. I challenge you to continue to teach our kids our history. Show them the black youth in our community that making a difference, that's paving a way for them so that they know that they can make black history too.
“We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power to good ends.” - Mary McLeod Bethune