Black History Month is a time to recognize the achievements and contributions of African-Americans today and of the past. However, for me, it’s more than just a month to review the accomplishments of African-Americans. It is a month to recognize the brilliance of the African-American race, and makes me proud to be an African-American woman.
For 28 or 29 days, sororities, fraternities, churches, community organizations, and other entities make a purposeful effort to see the beauty, intellect, and spirit of a people who have overcome insurmountable challenge, yet continue to thrive and excel. I love my brown skin and the story it tells. You see, I live black history every day. And I view February as a special time for rejoicing, celebrating, and thanking those individuals in my life who happen to be Black for giving me hope, teaching me life lessons, and continuing to write a history that I can be proud of. You see, Black History isn’t just about all the bad times we have been through. It is about integrity, leadership, and determination. It's about showing your true character. I once read that “Black History Month is a time for calling upon the public to seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every endeavor.” I found this statement powerful as there are so many African Americans who go unnoticed for their greatness.
Black History isn’t just about all the bad times we have been through. It is about integrity, leadership, and determination.
For example, I consider my Dad, CW4 Jesse Hall, to be one of the greatest African American heroes. He was an officer in the United States Army and made history every day as he worked, loved, and provided for his family. He taught me the power of education and the benefits of having a strong work ethic. He taught me to love all people and love my country. That is Black History in action. I believe it is only fitting that he left to be with God on February 29, 2016.
My mother, Dr. Patricia Hall, recently co-authored a book entitled Friends Are Forever. It’s the story of four African-American women who graduated from South Carolina State College and have remained friends for over 5 decades. In my mother’s chapters, she highlights her experiences marching for civil rights in the 1960s, and the impact that attending an HBCU (Historically Black College or University) has had on her life. However, she also speaks of our family and the importance of sharing experiences and keeping traditions.
As a Christian who happens to be a Black American, I understand the power of faith, unity and kindness. I believe that each of us has a responsibility to one another. I also believe the struggles of the past teach us all about the present. Over 85 years after Black History Month launched, this remains true. This is why I love Black History Month; it is a continued opportunity to delve into an ever-evolving history of a people who continue to make a difference.