It’s Black History Month – Let’s Create Tomorrow’s Story
Black History Month was created as an effort to bring to light the great impact of Black People in the United States that had traditionally been ignored in the telling of the stories that shaped this country. During this month we share the highlights of great History Makers like Carter G. Woodson, historian, who is credited as the Founder of Black History Month. He was one of the first Black Americans to graduate from Harvard. He authored many books including “The Miseducation of the Negro.” Justice Thurgood Marshall is one of my professional heroes. While denied entry into the University of Maryland Law School based upon race, that rejection enabled him to attend Howard Law School. His professional achievements included ending legalized segregation with Brown v. Board of Education. He was the first Black Supreme Court Justice. His life changed the world.
My favorite (s)hero outside of my mother is Osceola McCarty. I have many times referenced this woman who was conceived in rape and did not receive more than a sixth-grade education but created an incredible legacy. Her “profession” was that of a washer woman in Mississippi. Before she passed away she was able to donate $150,000 to create a scholarship for the University of Southern Mississippi. By living her values and well below her means she was able to create a legacy that should be an example to all.
This Sunday’s message at my church was based on “the parable of the talents.” The story in Matthew describes a man who was going away and entrusted his servants with his property. To one he gave five talents. A talent was a monetary unit worth about 20 years’ wages for a laborer to another two talents, to another one talent, to each according to his ability. The servants who were given five and two talents doubled the investment. The servant who received just one talent buried it and returned it just as received to the owner. The owner was angry stating that the very least that could have been done was to deposit for meager interest into a savings account.
We each are given talents according to our own ability. The talents are wide and varied. We are each called to be stewards of the talent. We make a commitment to invest or we hide our talents and gifts. I believe that to whom much is given much is required. I also believe that we each have been given much. The gift of life is much. Therefore, we commit or hide our talents and gifts to leave a legacy and be history makers for the people we love.
I encourage us each to create a legacy that is impactful. We can do that with substantial treasure, time and/or talent. Yet we have a great capacity to leave the world better than we found it by employing our talents. Our legacy will not be the first Black Supreme Court justice or the Father of Black History because they have already come. But we were each created for a specific purpose and this specific time. Let’s make our contribution to the History books (be it the family bible, the local community newspaper or The Washington Post/New York Times. We can create a legacy of greatness once we make the decision; employ the discipline and determination to do so.
By: Aimee D. Griffin, Esq.
Featured in The Washington Informer – February 2016