While children born today will not know a time when black Americans were barred from holding positions of leadership and authority, the days of civil rights are not very far behind us. Black History Week began in 1915 and was created by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. In 1976, it became Black History Month, 10 years later, in 1986, Congress made the month public law. The month of February is now widely celebrated as a time to honor the contributions African Americans have made in our country and for the world. Here are a few of my favorite quotes in honor of our nations’ influential black Americans:
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by themoments that take our breath away. -Maya Angelou, poet
I always tell my kids if you lay down, people will step over you. But if you keep scrambling, if you keep going, someone will always, always give you a hand. Always. But you gotta keep dancing, you gotta keep your feet moving. –Morgan Freeman, actor
If you can’t fly, then run, If you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl but whatever you do you have to keep movingforward. -Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights activist
We must use all the tools of American power in resolvingdisputes, including diplomacy. And we must have sufficient congressional debate and oversight before ever putting another U.S. solider in harm’s way. -Barbara Lee, U.S. Representative
I believe we are here on the planet Earth to live, grow up and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom. –Rosa Parks, civil rights activist
I teach class, and class will turn the heads of kings and queens. –Maxine Powell, Motown etiquette instructor
Be a leader, like these brave Americans, and move to action TODAY.