In 1986 President Reagan signed into law the dedication that February would be recognized as Black History Month in the U.S. (Our friends in the U.K. and other parts of the world recognize the significance of the African diaspora in October.)
The intent of the proclamation is to “make all Americans aware of this struggle for freedom and equal opportunity” and “celebrate the many achievements of African Americans in every field…”
Awareness is an important first step. And the celebration is certainly due. Yet, this year our observance should also elevate the energy of participation in every collaborative leader’s heart.
We are all actors in the civil issues of our day; to only be aware, to merely acknowledge and not actively advance a cause are the smallest contributions.
Winston Churchill purportedly stated, “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” Just as we look back at people in history and evaluate their conduct and actions, so, too, will our children look back at us. They will ask: What did you do with your awareness? How did you act?
Black History Month is a dedicated time to look into our collective future. If you believe that freedom and equal opportunity for all is our moral compass, may this be a reminder of the important role you play in leading us there.
What will you do this month to create greater social justice for all in the future?