Twenty-Eight Days Of Hope, Courage And Wisdom

By Susan Pruitt
Senior Editor

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MONTICELLO-Maya Angelou once said, “No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place.”

   With February being Black History Month, I think it is important to recognize not only African-Americans’ trials and tribulations, but also to celebrate the immeasurable courage and strength it took to persevere.

   “Black History Month, to me, is a reminder of how many people dared to dream, promoted what they loved and fought for what they knew was right. So, that I could have the freedom and the liberties to do what I feel is right … and promote what I love and dare to dream,” Makayla Burris, senior modern languages major, said.

   Colleges all over Arkansas have been celebrating Black History month.

   Arkansas Tech celebrated Black History Month with keynote speaker Rasheed Ali Cromwell, graduate member of the Kappa Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. in Washington, D.C. Arkansas Tech plans to show the movie “The Help” today, Feb. 27.

   Today, the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville plans to showcase A.J. McQueen, poet, activist and motivational speaker as part of Embrace the Black Writer. Embrace the Black Writer aims to educate the campus community on the impact of African American authors and writers who contributed to understanding black history.

   The University of Arkansas-Monticello’s Student Government Association and Student Activities Board celebrated black history Feb. 6 with guest speaker Brother Moses, the foremost authority and purveyor of the speeches and sermons of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the world. Zeta Phi Beta also celebrated with “All Black Affair” Feb. 18. The event showcased amazing facts, singing and dancing.

   “Black History Month is more than a month to celebrate blacks. It’s a month to show growth, change, unity and understanding. February is not just a month to praise blacks, but also appreciate those who helped our race gain this change,” Anastasia Duff, a communications major, said.

   For me, today marks an important remembrance in black history. Descendants of Rosa Parks now have the chance to witness their late-matriarch make more history. Parks will be honored by becoming the first African-American woman to be honored with a full-length statue in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall. Parks is famous for her refusal to give up her bus seat to a Causasian-American man in 1955. The statue joins a bust of abolitionist Sojourner Truth.

   KATV celebrated Black History Month with a calendar to remember events happening on each day of February. Today, Debi Thomas medaled at the 1988 Winter Olympics. I remember it, and she was outstanding. Yesterday marked the political deal that brought an end to reconstruction.

   The most important day, Feb. 1, is the day Abraham Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment! I think Thomas Jefferson said it best when he said, “Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, or morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both.”

   Yet, racism still exists today. Caucasian-Americans hate African-Americans because for generations we are taught to hate without reason. African-Americans hate Caucasian-Americans because they are taught to hate because some of our ancestors promoted slavery. It’s a cycle that needs to be broken.

   I am a human and so is everyone else on this planet. Let’s celebrate each other as a human race and not get stuck on outside appearances.

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