I am old enough to remember a time before Black History Month ever existed. When I was a teenager, the celebration was optional, only a week long (during the month of February), and it was called Negro History Week. It was the brain child of historian and author Carter G. Woodson, and dates back to the mid-1920's.
During the summer of 1976, as we celebrated America's Bicentennial, Black History Month was officially recognized by President Gerald Ford. The first place to begin Black History Month was on the campus of Kent State University in my home state of Ohio.
MetroEast Community Media is like a beautiful quilt that is comprised of many unique, colorful, and different parts. Just like America, our people represent a diverse range of cultural, religious, and ethnic backgrounds that all contribute to the richness of our nation, as well as our station.
Black History Month is an opportunity to shine a light on the wondrous contributions to the national narrative, traditions, and culture that is America. It is important for each of us to inquire, study, and celebrate the stories of our fellow Americans, especially those of us who do not make up the mainstream majority.
By opening ourselves up to learn more about those who are different from our core household, we can begin to appreciate how the many unique and distinct attributes of our neighbors can be woven together to create a mighty and unbreakable cord of civic engagement.