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 (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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