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.