Remembering the Sacrifices: Promoting the Legacy

For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. ~ Deuteronomy 10:17 (NIV)

February is Black History Month or National African American History Month. A time to emphasize the wealth of knowledge passed from generation to generation. An occasion to remember the men and women, who are worthy of celebration. Some whose contributions were ultimate sacrifices—because they had a dreamed. Others who continue the dream—who promote the legacy. Working for a better life for African Americans… for all Americans… for humankind.

As a child of about seven, I remember reading with misty eyes. A story about a little boy who would sneak beside the chimney’s fire—late at night with a tattered primer—because he wasn’t allowed to learn to read. Back then… I couldn’t comprehend why a child was denied the right to read. I was a child and I loved to read. That’s one of my earliest memories of African American history.

So, I feel the passion of Frederick Douglass’ words, “I set out with high hope, and a fixed purpose, at whatever cost of trouble, to learn how to read” (Douglas, 1845, p.29). For a long time… I thought about those words every time I would read something. I understand “an expression of feeling…found its way down my cheek” (p.12) because I feel empathy every time I read Douglass’ autobiography. His words move me with compassion, understanding, and gratefulness.

Frederick Douglass wrote with clarity—eloquent, discerning and expressive—a testament to God’s grace. Hope that took a slave to freedom. Faith that turned illiteracy to literacy. And God’s favor, which flowed in the harshest of circumstances. A remarkable man who experienced an extraordinary journey. A man determined, courageous and inspiring—unapologetically who God created him to be.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.