“Black History, Our Family’s History”

“But if anyone does not provide for his (her) relatives, and especially for members

of his (her) household, he (she) has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” 

1 Timothy 5.8

At the end of the day, we are family! Family’s share unique DNA, experiences, and history. As a family, we have witnessed the same events, heard the same stories, and walked the same paths. Families should genuinely love and care for each other.

It is estimated that between 1525 and 1866, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade brought 12.5 million Africans to the New World. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there are 37,000,000 (12.1 percent) non-Hispanic African Americans in our nation. Through all our years here, we have demonstrated strength, growth, and determination to live and thrive in a nation that often discriminates against our people.

There are so many slave narratives, Jim Crow stories, stories from our experiences during the Civil Rights Movement, and even current stories being shared that speak to the harsh treatment that we have experienced. Those who wield power and those making decisions that affect others often treat minorities poorly.

Yet, through every period of our history in the United States, we have demonstrated the value of family connections. We have assisted in taking care of each other. We rallied when there were crises. We celebrated when there was good news. We worshiped in our churches and affirmed that God was present with us through all our struggles.

We come together at holidays and special times and tangibly express our love for each other. We feed each other. We nurse each other. We grieve for and with each other. We shed tears of joy and sorrow for each other. We are family!

Because families are important to our lifeblood, we must do all within our power to strengthen them. We cannot afford to isolate anyone because their makeup may not be described as a traditional family. We cannot denigrate anyone whose choices may be different from ours. At the end of the day, we are still African Americans in a land that discriminates against us because of the color of our skin. What is enacted against us, we cannot enact against ourselves! No matter how mistreated we might be, we must not mistreat each other.

May God’s love compel us to love everyone, including our families. Happy Black History Month! Amen.