Black History

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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.”

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