February has been designated Black History Month. No matter what race or national origin you and your family are, there is so much that we can learn about ourselves and our nation by studying and celebrating African American history.
An online editorial by crosswalk.com editors entitled “The Importance of Black History Month to Christians” is worthy of reading to understand why Christians should participate. The editors quote writer David Mathis, who acknowledges being a white American who grew up as an unsympathetic youth to the struggles of African Americans, but has changed:
“Such is not the spirit of Christ, nor is it walking by his Spirit to suspect the worst of non-blacks who rush to join the annual celebration. Nor is it Christian — not in this nation or any other place on the planet — to keep silent with our children about the realities of ethnicity in view of Christ. If we don’t cast a positive vision for our children about the glories of God-designed ethnic diversity, we leave their inherent ethnocentrism to swell and take root.”
“Black History Month isn’t simply about ethnic diversity in general, but remembering the horrors of our shared history and celebrating the progress that has been made, in God’s common kindness, and specifically the many successes of black Americans despite such a history. Christians honor this month, at least in part, because it helps us understand the awful plight of a people made in God’s image, many of them fellow believers, and acknowledges God’s goodness at work in remarkable achievements…in and through a people who often have been treated with utter wickedness.”
Plan to read to your children or have your children read at least one book about a famous African American. Here are a few Christian African Americans to consider, many of whom you have probably never heard of before:
1. Bishop Richard Allen – said to be the “Father of the Black Church”;
2. Bishop William Seymour – started the fiery Christian teachings in California in the early 20th Century that ultimately led to what is known as the Azusa Street Revival and the beginning of the charismatic movement;
3. Thomas Dorsey – musician and composer who helped develop Gospel music;
4. Mordecai Johnson – educator and pastor who became the first African American president of Howard University; and
5. Rosa Parks – a devout Christian who relied on her faith to refuse to give up her bus seat because of the color of her skin.
You can read the entire editorial by CLICKING HERE.