February marks the celebration of Black History. For most it is a time to celebrate and for others it is a time to reflect and evaluate just how far we have come as we look to the future. Remember to celebrate yourself with thanksgiving for those who have come before and are present and are still to come. For the non-African-American attend an event, open your mind, educate yourself, and join the celebration. For without me there is no you and without you there is no me.
On the James River in 1712, a man named William Lynch gave a speech to slave holders. He told them about a scientific proven method of how to break a human being both physically and psychologically – namely a slave. He was so sure of his method that he guaranteed if properly applied it will control the slaves for the next 300 years. His method was simple. Create fear, distrust, and envy for control purposes. Then turn the slaves against each other. Turn the young man against the old man, the male against the female, the light skin against the dark skin, the straight hair against the nappy hair. “Teach your white servants and overseers to distrust all blacks.” His scientific method is alive and well today.
After the Emancipation Proclamation, African-Americans faced another challenge. It was called, “Jim Crow.” Laws designed to prohibit the co-mingling of colored people with white people from 1876-1965. These laws prohibited them from eating together, from entering the same door to a white nurse not having to treat a black patient. These laws were established to perpetuate the superiority of one race while psychologically destroying another.
As more and more blacks became educated, empowered in mind and spirit, and simply tired of being reminded everyday that they were second class citizens a civil rights movement began. Church leaders, students, congressmen, women, men, courtrooms, and national organizations like the NAACP began to fight for their civil rights. In 1968, the Civil Rights Act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson.
In present day America, the ghost of William Lynch still lives. But may its affects grow weaker and weaker everyday. There is a saying, “We may not be where we want to be but we thank God, we are not where we use to be.” Let freedom ring.