Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011
As a child, I remember cringing in my seat every time February rolled around and my teachers would announce, “It’s Black History Month!” All eyes would land on me, one of the few black children in my class. I felt weird, out of sorts, and the center of attention for an entire month.
I did enjoy all the wonderful facts of Black Americans that have gone before me. The history was fascinating. The inventions, the accomplishments, and the victories were all very inspiring to me. I did feel a sense of pride in my race.
But, that was short lived. As soon as the calendars flipped and March arrived, I watched all the posters come off the walls and the books go back on the bottom, back part of the shelves. It was like everyone was saying, “We’ll appease them and give them their 28 days of fame!”
As a teacher, I taught in a predominately black elementary school. All the months looked like Black History Month. The entire year, the children saw faces similar to theirs on the hallway posters and in their library books. Weekly, we talked and read about people of color.
Differently than I did as a child, my students felt appreciated and celebrated for being a Black American throughout the whole school year and not just for one month.
As a mother, I teach my children to embrace gladly their God-given heritage as Black Americans. However, there is a heritage that is infinitely more important than their black heritage; it’s their spiritual heritage which traces back to the cross of Christ.
I pray that they will soon receive their parents’ legacy of faith in Jesus Christ through the Gospel. My husband and I want to tell our children of the great achievements of Black Americans, but even more to tell them of the glorious deeds of the Lord “so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Psalm 78:7). That is our ultimate mission.
Our children knowing all there is to know about Black History is not our main concern. But one day to say, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4), is this black mother’s heart’s desire.
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