Dr. Stephen Jones
Hundreds of years have passed since Africans landed in America. One month is not sufficient to celebrate all the Black History that has occurred over the years; we are right to celebrate it all year. Africans did not arrive by choice and it took a long time to be freed. When it happened, America was never the same. The next generations witnessed tremendous accomplishments, most recently, the election of the first African American leader of the U.S., President Barack Obama.
There have been many firsts during the past 50 years: the first African American astronaut, the invention of IBM computer, the cell phone, and Secretary of State. The list is long. African Americans are professors and teachers at schools and colleges all over the country. We have accomplished things that were never expected. It is a lesson that persistence wins every time.
Organizations plan events each year to celebrate Black History month, reminding us how African Americans have succeeded against all odds in a country where they had to fight for every right. Many are still living in deplorable conditions, and we must not forget our brothers and sisters who need our help. There must be continuous improvements in education and entrepreneurship for African Americans to have a better future.
Black History month is a time to invest in changing the lives of our fellow African Americans. It has been an American tradition for high school and college students to volunteer in the community to assist those who are younger. Volunteerism must continue to be a central part of our focus. The desire to give back has made each generation better. Responding to the needs of others has benefits for the giver and the receiver of an individual’s time; a core expectation in the legacy of the African in America community.
Each year thousands of students attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) with a great sense of pride and anticipation of personal and academic growth, a significant part of Black History. These students want to make a mark in history and change the world. They want to get ahead in society, understanding that a college education is one of the best ways to improve their economic mobility. HBCU professors are invested in their student’s success; our country must also see that graduates add to our competitiveness here and globally.
The accomplishments of Africans in America are American history. Each African American must have a stake in making our society a better place to live. We must continue to fight for a fair and equal society where discrimination is eliminated. There are too many who are still hurting and face challenges to survive. We must come together and affirm our values and contributions to American society and culture in every way possible. Black History Month is a time to shine our light as we pursue a brighter tomorrow.
Dr. Stephen Jones is an author of college preparation books, keynote speaker and workshop presenter. Find out more at DrStephenJones.net