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The shortest month of the year should't limit the expansive contributions of Black people throughout the United States and the Americas. We'll salute the sacrifices, dreams, hopes and opportunities of African Americans from Phyllis Wheatley to Dr. Ralph David Abernathy to Rev. Karla Cooper who represent the best of our race.
Black History IS American History. And today's show pays tribute to why it should matter to ALL people throughout the land.
Black History Month and Dr. Carter G.Woodson
During the dawning decades of the twentieth century, it was commonly presumed that black people had little history besides the subjugation of slavery. Today, it is clear that blacks have significantly impacted the development of the social, political, and economic structures of the United States and the world. Credit for the evolving awareness of the true place of blacks in history can, in large part, be bestowed on one man, Carter G. Woodson. And, his brainchild the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Inc. is continuing Woodson’s tradition of disseminating information about black life, history and culture to the global community.
Known as the “Father of Black History,” Woodson (1875-1950) was the son of former slaves, and understood how important gaining a proper education is when striving to secure and make the most out of one’s divine right of freedom. Although he did not begin his formal education until he was 20 years old, his dedication to study enabled him to earn a high school diploma in West Virginia and bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of Chicago in just a few years.
In 1912, Woodson became the second African American to earn a PhD at Harvard University.
Recognizing the dearth of information on the accomplishments of blacks in 1915, Dr. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, now called the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).
Under Woodson’s pioneering leadership, the Association created research and publication outlets for black scholars with the establishment of the Journal of Negro History (1916) and the Negro History Bulletin (1937), which garners a popular public appeal.
In 1926, Dr. Woodson initiated the celebration of Negro History Week, which corresponded with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, this celebration was expanded to include the entire month of February, and today Black History Month garners support throughout the country as people of all ethnic and social backgrounds discuss the black experience. ASALH views the promotion of Black History Month as one of the most important components of advancing Dr. Woodson’s legacy.
In honor of all the work that Dr. Carter G. Woodson has done to promote the study of African American History, an ornament of Woodson hangs on the White House's Christmas tree each year.
Source: Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)
By Korey Bowers Brown
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India is the second most populous country in the world, topping 1.2 billion people and counting. The Christian community peaks at 2%. The majority of Indians are Hindu, and there is a very active right wing Hindu segment of The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Narendra Modi is the head of the BJP and was elected as Prime Minister by a large majority back in May 2014. Ironically the voting took place in May 2014 during the AME India Annual Conference when I visited the country for the first time.
Last week Prime Minister Modi in collaboration with the Catholic Church in India announced a no tolerance policy for hate crimes committed against the Christian community.
There are also a minority population of Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and other minority religions in India. Christians often practice their religion at great risk in certain parts of the country. While on the trip we visited the church of Rev. John Wesley a brave AME pastor whose original church building was bulldozed by the right wing Hindus. So we met with the women and children in an open air concrete structure that has yet to be finished because of cost. Our women took up a collection of $610 in 15 minutes and gave it to Rev Wesley to help finish his church. He pastors Emmanuel AME Church in Puthur, Andhra Pradesh India and was very grateful for our support.
Above is a photo of our group on Day One at our fabulous hotel, The Leela Palace. We had just sorted our mission items and got them ready for Presiding Elders Sarah and Abraham Peddiny. Some of the items were given out last week during our visit. The others will be carefully distributed according to the needs of the AME India Community.
PLEASE come with us next February 2016 when we return to India for our next trip. Details in March.
Dear Valued Reader:
This is just a taste of what we are experiencing here in India. Such an extraordinary people and truly an incredible country. I will provide much more commentary in the days ahead.
Today we visit the women and children of Thirumani Village and the Educational Center that the Christiana R. Gray Women’s Missionary Society is supporting.
The items you see in the photo are hygiene and educational supplies donated by the delegation that will be distributed today.
I am honored to lead this delegation, and am learning so much during my second trip to India.
Stay tuned for more highlights in the days ahead.
-Carole Copeland Thomas, MBA CDMP
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Carole Copeland Thomas is a 27 year speaker, trainer and consultant specializing in global diversity, empowerment, multiculturalism and leadership issues.