Black History Month is celebrated throughout February to honor many mission-driven individuals who made or are making lasting contributions to the United States.
As we have come to the close of another empowering Black History Month, once again we are hit squarely with a reminder that there are still some places and institutions where African Americans/blacks have yet to receive full recognition.
Founded in 1776, First Baptist Church in Williamsburg, Va., is believed to be the first black Baptist church that was organized entirely by African Americans — a group of slaves and freed blacks who met secretly under an arbor on Green Spring Plantation. By 1781, the congregation had close to 200 members, and its pastor was a slave who worked in the Williamsburg tavern owned by his master.
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.
It’s one thing to celebrate Black History Month. But when the organization founded by the father of Black history kicks off its 100th anniversary with an issues forum at the White House, led by America’s first Black president, that’s a Black history moment worth noting.
One of my greatest joys over the past couple of years has been engaging in conversations with authors as host of AARP’s Black Community Book Club. From Nikki Giovanni to Terri McMillan to Russell Simmons to Leonard Pitts Jr., it’s been like conversing with living history.
Chef and author Bryant Terry says that being a food justice activist could mean lots of things - for example, fighting for small family farmers or supporting major reform of national agriculture policies.
Read about the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, which marks its golden jubilee this July, and you'll learn about the high-profile personalities in Congress and the White House who battled during this stretch of our country's faltering march toward fair treatment for all citizens. But you're less likely to hear about key players behind the scenes, even during Black History Month.
W.E.B. Du Bois. Mary McLeod Bethune. Stokely Carmichael. Malcolm X. Martin Luther King Jr. These are names of civil rights leaders you're likely to hear during Black History Month. But here's one you may not: T. Thomas Fortune.
This is a guest post by AARP Vice President of Multicultural Markets, Edna Kane-Williams. Williams is responsible for the development and execution of strategy relating to growing the association's African American/Black membership. She previously served as Vice President of Strategy and Communications within the AARP Foundation.
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