It is February, Black History Month in the USA (also known as African American History Month) and Canada.  It is unofficially Black History Month in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Netherlands in October.  Black History Month is a month to focus on the history, culture and accomplishments of black people.

Black History Month was begun in the USA. In 1926, the second week in February was designated as “Negro History Week.”  That week was chosen because of the February birth dates of President Abraham Lincoln and “Negro” abolitionist Frederick Douglas. Douglas was known for his statement: “Power concedes nothing without demand.”

“Black History Month was first proposed by black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University in February 1969.” (Wikipedia)  President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976.

“…the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination…(Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr; 1929-1968; 1963 “I Have A Dream Speech”)

In Dr. King’s 1963 “I Have A Dream Speech” he said: “ …I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”  Sadly, Dr. King’s dream has not yet been achieved.  Racism continues.

“We are living in a world where your color matters more than your character.”  (Lisa Williamson, 1964- ; author, activist, recording artist, film producer, aka Sister Souljah )

We all need to do our part to create a world in which people are not subjugated/persecuted/discriminated against because they are racially/ethnically/culturally different. “… Liberty and justice for all.”

“The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.”  (W.E.B. DuBois, 1868-1963; civil rights leader, sociologist, historian)

“…May we be blessed with courage to gather across our differences rather than limiting ourselves to familiarity…” (Rabbi Brandon Bernstein, Northwestern University Fiedler Hillel; “Remarks for MLK Candlelight Vigil at Northwestern on January 20, 2020)

*American Pledge of Allegiance

Peggy Tarr has been a columnist for the Evanston RoundTable since its founding in 1998. Born in Bruce Springsteen's hometown of Freehold, New Jersey, she graduated from Rutgers University with a degree...