We Help to Make the Nation Better

Last year, the organization that founded Black History Month, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), celebrated its centennial year. From 1915 to the present, this group has documented the contributions that black people have made to the incredible history and legacy of the United States. Visit AARP Black Community » But as much as we honor the people and events that brought African Americans from slavery to freedom, there are yet other ethnic groups …

Thanksgiving Is More Than Just a Holiday

When I think of all that our country has been through historically, I am humbled by how far God has brought us since that autumn day in 1621, which is credited as the first Thanksgiving. We all know that there is still much progress to be made. But during this season, there is also much for which to be thankful. Even as another election cycle is underway and the powers that be debate the critical issues of our nation, let …

Civil Rights Giant Julian Bond Never Stopped Giving

President Obama described him as a “hero” who “helped changed this country for the better.” The Rev. Jesse Jackson called him a “leader with strength, character.” NAACP Chairman Roslyn Brock said he “inspired a generation of civil rights leaders.”  Teresa Sullivan, president of the University of Virginia, where he taught history for many years, called him a beloved retired professor who “shaped the course of history through his life and work.” Visit AARP Black Community » How ever you choose to describe …

Healing Principles of the Black Church Really Work

As the eyes of America watched the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the South Carolina Capitol July 10, I feel thankful for the Black church and the principled role that it played in bringing a community together at a time that could have led to even greater strife and turmoil. Signing the bill to take down the flag, Gov. Nikki Haley eloquently said their actions “forever showed the state of South Carolina what love and forgiveness looks …

Why Not a Summer Salute to Black History?

This salute is extremely late. I don’t mean late for Memorial Day or even Black History Month. I mean this salute — to black soldiers who fought in the Civil War — is more than 150 years late. But so was America’s salute. That’s because, according to historians, the U.S. Colored Troops, who fought bravely and sacrificially in the Civil War for our freedom from slavery, were not allowed to participate in the Grand Review Parade of 1865. That was …

Five Good Reasons to Celebrate the Fourth of July

Can you imagine the looks on their faces in the audience when abolitionist Frederick Douglass, speaking at a commemoration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, asked the question, “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July?” Visit AARP Black Community >> Many historians proclaim that speech of July 5, 1852, called “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro,” to have been among Douglass’ greatest orations. Pointing out the hypocrisy of owning slaves while celebrating independence, …