I’m sure that most have heard the expression “Black Love” but only Black centenarians, their predecessors and immediate descendants can remotely understand its depth.
Black Love is the love of family, Black or White that one was an intricate part of, whether by birth, inheritance, marriage, ownership and otherwise. Black Love is synonymous with pride, dignity, tenacity and trustworthiness on the part of loving individuals while leaving judgement of what is deserved to the Creator of us all.
Black Love is sacrificing one’s self and possessions (of which there once were very few) for the wellbeing and advancement of others, whether or not appreciated, all of which has paled with the faster paced successive generations of more modern times and perceived freedoms.
In former generations fewer children were born to unwed mothers or to mothers under 21 years of age, in sharp contrast to today’s socially accepted trends, encouraged through loose morals and provocative video, audio and social surroundings. In today’s hi-tech American society the word love has been demoralized to include lust or mere sex.
In the segregated classrooms of yesteryear, students were taught Black (Negro) History in elementary and secondary schools by Black teachers in order to instill pride, dignity, hope and motivation. However with the advent of forced desegregation many Black principals immediately became Black History, followed systematically by Black teachers. The result, neither Black nor White students were well versed on the innumerable contributions by Black scientist, astronomers, inventors, educators, etc., prior to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. except through individual initiative.
“If such Black intelligence has existed throughout the centuries, why hasn’t someone heard about it before now,” I was asked by one very sincere middle-age member of a well known all-male local organization that I had been invited to address a few years back. To my pleasant surprise they had just inducted their first Black member.
So why Black History, we continue to hear, and especially the “glut” between the January 15 National Holiday honoring the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through the Black History Month of February, the shortest of the calendar year? For those who would view our first U.S. President of African American descent as a sign that “We have overcome,” I feel that Sherman Lea, Jr. put it most succinctly in a recent TV interview stating: “Dr. King did not die so that some of us could rise to the top but that none of us would get left at the bottom!”
When will we realize that: “America’s peace, prosperity and even her standing in the international community depend on healing the wounds of racism and building a society in which people of diverse backgrounds live as members of one family,” as proclaimed in the Baha’i Holy Writings.
“We therefore appeal to the individual American because the transformation of a whole nation ultimately depends on the initiative and change of character of the individuals who compose it.”
Then learn well Black History, America, for it is written: “As the Black pupil brings sight to the eye, so too shall the Black people bring religious sight to the world;”-through Love! (Investigate!)