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As African Americans we are here not only to remember our accomplishments as a people during Black History month but more importantly we must not forget just how good God has been to us through our struggles throughout history.

If it had not been for his mercy, his compassion, and most of all his presence, we would not have persevered as a people and be here today. As a community we are one of his greatest miracles. Only God could do that. If it had not been for the Lord on our side, other communities would not have been able to witness such virtues as strength, endurance, and faith.

Not to say that these virtues do not exist in other communities, however at the present time the acknowledgement of Black history and our accomplishments as a people are under attack. Sad to say but there is a wave of action present today seeking to erase the accomplishments of our history and rewrite it according to their own biased script. Therefore, it’s incumbent that we as a people must do everything in our power to become like a dam and hold back this wave of deviation. So therefore, during this Black History month amid the attempts to ban and erase our history we must ask God to take us higher as a community and let his presence continue to spread throughout the world.

During these divisive times, we as a community must reflect upon the historical annals of those courageous men and women that led our community out of those dark, hideous, and violent times in history bestowed upon us for no other reason than the presence of melanin in our skin. The annihilation of a people begins when they lose their sense of self-worth, and this is driven by the obliteration of one’s history. There are those who are cognizant of this fact and therefore push policies, laws, and legislations to ban, obstruct, and even eliminate literary works and other educational informative means that reminds us and our children of just how great we were, how great we are, and how great we can be. From visions comes forth victory.

Yet, here it is in 2024 and we’re still dealing with some of the same issues that the likes of Dr. King, Malcolm X, Medger Evers, John Lewis, Fannie Lou Hamer, Thurgood Marshall, and others fought and some even died for. So, the question comes to us: Are we there yet? We know the answer is no, but we must remember and not forget how we made it this far and by whose authority. We must remember the passion, achievements, and the courage it took for them to fight and to inculcate and build up with the energy and determination to keep moving forward.

The world is questioning America’s posture as being a melting pot, one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all. This promise may seem out of reach for those whose faith is not solid however it is obtainable and within reach. We still have a lot of work to do. Frederick Douglas reminded us that “if there is no struggle there is no progress.” Yet it will take a collective effort. Those who continue to stand in the way of equality, those whose aim is to ban and bury the history of a people must reconcile with the fact that their efforts are in vain. As we remember let’s not forget that the days of the wicked are short lived along with the wavering, timid leaders, the shepherds who stand idly by and allow their flock to be led astray, far away from the rich history that’s evident of how great they are.

As we remember, let’s not forget that we’ve always been a God-fearing people. Let us be reminded of the fact that it was God who brought us up through those dark days of slavery, that to this day so many would rather believe that is the beginning of our history. What they fail to realize is that we were not slaves — we were enslaved. This is the depiction that they want to teach. This is the version of history that is more palatable to their taste. So, they must instill a version of history that is at a variance to the true history that marvels African empires, kings, queens, and pharaohs that ruled the world at a time when Europe was in its infancy.

Shedding light on our true history does not diminish the accomplishments of other ethnic communities. You see we do not have to degrade and make others subservient in an effort to stake our claim in this world. Our history can stand on its own merits. There may be more dark days ahead, especially during these divisive and trying times, but let us as a people of faith continue to remember and let us not forget the words of the Psalmist: “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

Black, white, yellow, or brown, whatever hue, as we remember, let us not forget.

Carnal Hobson Jr. is a Riverhead native living in Portsmouth, Virginia.

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