The City of West Park is proud to celebrate Black History Month this February. We are in celebratory remembrance of the millions of countless contributions of African descendants whose labor and sacrifices in education, music, science/technology, arts /entertainment, politics and social consciousness add to the making of this great nation.
During this month, the world and this city pause and absorb the tremendous plight and journey of a people, whose history begins with slavery, was devastated by segregation, and had to seek justice in a courthouse for their rights and equality. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King wrote, “It is necessary to understand that black power is a cry of disappointment. The black power slogan did not spring full grown from the head of some philosophical Zeus. It was born from the wounds of despair and disappointment. It is a cry of daily hurt and persistent pain.”
Let us not forget that the civil rights movement was required, that Dr. King and many others were not just a symbol for African Americans facing the ugly tyrannies of oppression and segregation, that freedom does cost, that ignorance can only be overcome through knowledge, and that change without action is merely a six letter word.
West Park we must become more diverse, it is important to set aside time to acknowledge and educate others on the contributions and diverse abilities of people within our city, while at the same time, reminding ourselves of our rich heritage and promising future.
The time upon us is for the individual and collective rise as an organized force against the echoes and tones of separatism, unemployment, educational failure and poverty. Have we heard the alarm of a deeply troubled economy, can we now bear arms against ignorance and indifference rather than man to man? Can we raise the volume of the often faint whispers about lives lost to unnecessary gun violence, homelessness and foreclosed dreams and hopes?
The month of February is the time set aside nationally to celebrate black history and culture. But we are not simply restricted to the shortest month of the year to celebrate our heritage. Our story is a long and growing one and can’t possibly be compacted to just 28 days. So create traditions, establish times to gather, share the stories and the songs before they are lost.
We therefore must declare that 2013 will not be another cycle, without the dialogue of economic empowerment, that the days of the typical black history month will in fact be a point of liberation from the still painful history.
It’s important to remember for when the children ask, “What do these things mean?” we can proudly respond. It’s important to remember because, the eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time. They are kneeling with hands clasped that we might act. That we might leave room for remembrance of the life that is destined to come.
Remember to contact me at City Hall with your ideas, suggestions or concerns. I represent you and appreciate your input into the continued success of our beloved city. I can be reached at (954) 889-4164 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.