Well, our favorite month starts tomorrow and in 2013, Black History Month has special significance because of two important anniversaries.
This year, we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, which represents our freedom from American slavery.
We also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, that memorable platform for Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech; both very important parts of American history.
But what did these extraordinary historical events―100 years apart― actually do or accomplish? After all, the Emancipation Proclamation was just a few sheets of paper that, when read, didn’t even free all those who were in bondage.
Truth be told, it was largely a wartime measure limited to certain states and designed to rally potential black soldiers from both the North and South to join the cause of the North.
And what about the much-celebrated March on Washington? It was basically a rally with a great keynote speech. Sure, Dr. King ruled that day, with his golden tongue but, at the end of the day, it was a speech.
You’re probably scratching your heads right about now and wondering, “Stephanie, what in the world is your point?”
You see, both the Emancipation Proclamation and the I Have a Dream speech were just words.
But, words can have incredible power, especially those delivered at key moments where their impact can be felt for generations to come.
Words can be timeless; words can build, words can destroy. They can set the tone for great historical deeds or disasters, they can, indeed, change the course of history.
Lincoln’s Proclamation did not end slavery, but it inspired millions and helped transform the character and tone of the war from being a battle to stop the country from splitting, into a ‘War for Freedom.”
It also announced the acceptance of black men into the Union Army and Navy and, by war’s end, almost 200,000 black soldiers had fought on the Union side.
Dr. King’s speech set the tone for generations as one of the most quoted and replayed speeches of all time, impacting legislation and policy up ‘til this day and foreshadowing the rise of our current president.
So we should recognize the power of words― both written and the ones coming out of our mouths― because they can indeed affect history. If not the history of our world or country, then maybe the history of our community or family.
And this Black History Month, we should celebrate the extraordinary words delivered 50 and 150 years ago that still affect us today.
I’ll leave you with these words from poet Emily Dickinson:
“A word is dead when it’s been said, some say. I say it just begins to live, that day.”
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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