Is#Black#History#Month#still#relevant?#! By#Pablo#More! February#4th#2013! ! !

Is!Black!History!Month!still!relevant?!Do!we!still!need!to!celebrate!the!accomplishments!of!African<
Americans!and!know!the!history?!Do!we!still!need!African<American!Institutions!such!as!Historically!Black! Colleges!(HBCU),!African<American!Museums!and!Heritage!Centers?!!Do!we!still!need!Black!Studies! programs!in!college?!Do!we!need!Affirmative!Action!and!the!Voting!Rights!Act?!Do!we!need!Urban! Empowerment!Zones!and!Affordable!Housing!for!the!poor?!Is!the!African<American!vote!and!consumer! still!relevant?!Is!any!of!this!important?!! ! ! This!and!much!more!are!issues!being!debated!in!academic!institutions,!in!corporate!committees!when! deciding!where!to!allocate!sponsorship!funds!and!organizations!to!support,!in!State!and!Federal!legislative! bodies!where!policy!issues!are!being!decided!and!prioritize!based!on!the!largest!voting!bloc!and!latest! census!figures.!Also!some!of!these!are!issues!that!are!being!taken!up!by!the!U.S.!Supreme!Court!this!year.! These!are!issues!that!can!have!lasting!impact!for!generations.!!! ! ! “Power!concedes!nothing!without!a!demand.!It!never!did!and!it!never!will,”!Said!the!late!Frederick! Douglass.!One!can!have!a!right!today,!but!to!maintain!it!one!has!to!be!an!active!participant!in!civil!society! in!order!to!safeguard!and!demand!those!rights.!Access!and!upward!mobility!is!often!determined!by!one’s! economic!and!political!power.!Economic!power!provides!for!the!quality!of!an!education,!political!power,! and!gives!you!access!and!business.!Do!we!have!membership!in!a!civic!based!organization!and/or!lobbying! group!that!is!advocating!for!the!rights!that!are!important!to!us?!Do!we!have!bloc!grants;!crowd!funding! ventures!that!will!help!launch!new!business?!!Do!we!have!membership!in!one!or!more!of!the!many!Black! professional!associations!in!the!Central!Florida?!These!are!ways!in!which!to!become!civically!active!as!well! as!grow!professionally.!! ! ! The!late!great!John!Henrik!Clarke!in!“A!Great!and!Mighty!Walk”,!says!of!history:!! ! “History)is)a)clock)that)people)use)to)tell)their)political)and)cultural)time)of)day,)History)tells)a) people,)where)they)have)been,)what)they)have)been,)where)they)are)and)what)they)are,)most) importantly)history)tells)a)people,)where)they)still)must)go,)where)they)still)must)be,)the) relationship)of)history)to)the)people)is)the)same)as)a)the)relationship)of)a)mother)to)her)child.”)) ! ! Florida!is!rich!in!Black!History!and!in!particular!Central!Florida!where!there!exists!a!number!of!African! American!Museums,!Heritage!centers,!HBCU,!Black!Heritage!Trails,!Black!newspapers,!Black!Studies! programs,!historic!townships,!tours!that!one!can!take,!etc…!A!cultural!Mecca!surrounds!us.!There!are! resources!available!to!be!used!for!meetings,!functions,!training,!anniversary,!education!and!more.!We! have!places!like!Hannibal!Square!Heritage!Center!in!Winter!Park,!the!Wells!Built!Museum!in!Downtown! Orlando,!Eatonville,!Sanford!and!Deland.!! ! ! Dr.!Carter!G.!Woodson,!the!Father!of!Black!History!Month,!which!originally!was!Black!History!Week!and! was!later!expanded,!has!his!museum!in!St.!Petersburg,!Florida,!the!Dr.!Carter!G.!Woodson!African! American!Museum.!This!rich!history!stretches!back!to!1528!where!Maxine!D!Jones!in!her!book!“African! Americans!in!Florida”!says!“an!African!named!Estevanico!first!set!foot!in!Florida!near!present<day!Tampa! as!part!of!a!Spanish!exploration!party.”!These!institutions!while!here!today,!may!not!be!here!tomorrow!if!

they!are!not!utilized,!visited!and!supported.!Here!below!are!links!to!various!destinations!around!Central! Florida!and!the!state!of!Florida.!There!is!a!Black!Heritage!Trail!guide!that!is!put!out!by!Visit!Florida.!! ! This!year!marked!the!150!year!anniversary!of!the!Emancipation!Proclamation,!as!well!the!50!year! anniversary!of!the!1963!March!on!Washington.!This!year!also!saw!President!Obama!take!his!oath!for!his! second!term!in!office.!Now!while!these!are!significant!milestones,!this!year!will!also!see!important!legal! cases!go!before!the!U.S.!Supreme!Court,!such!as!Fisher!v.!Texas,!Ensuring!Diversity!in!Higher!Education,!as! well!as!Shelby!County!v.!Holder!on!Constitutionality!of!the!Voting!Rights!Act.!Mount!Holly!v.!Mt.!Holly! Gardens!Citizens!in!Action,!Inc,!on!housing!discrimination.!Three!important!cases!on!which!to!be!engaged! as!its!impact!may!undo!some!of!the!work!that!was!fought!for.!! ! Black!History!month!is!very!relevant!today,!it!is!a!time!to!not!only!reflect!and!celebrate!past!year's! achievements!but!also!a!time!to!take!out!a!scorecard!and!see!how!are!we!doing!on!the!issues!that!are! important!to!us?!Are!they!being!raised!and!addressed!by!those!that!we!elect!to!office?!Are!we!taking! responsibility!for!our!lives!and!being!an!active!participant!in!society?!!Are!we!taking!ownership!of!our!own! professional!development!by!joining!a!local!chapter!of!a!professional!association?!This!is!2013,!what!is!our! plan!for!2020!in!Central!Florida?!Are!we!aware!of!the!city,!county!and!state!plans!for!the!next!7!years?!!! ! Let!us!engage!and!be!active.!Let!us!take!advantage!of!the!many!prime!economic!development! opportunities!that!exists!in!Central!Florida!around!Bio<Tech!at!Lake!Nona!Medical!City,!in!Transportation! with!Sun!Rail!and!surrounding!corridors,!in!Aviation,!Travel!and!Leisure!with!the!major!MCO!Orlando! Airport!capital!expansion!project.!Let!us!get!plugged!into!the!Tech!Startup!scene!in!Metro!Orlando!and! STEM!career!&!small!business!opportunities.!Let!us!give!voice!to!the!voiceless!and!disenfranchised,! demanding!the!right!to!vote!for!ALL!people!whom!are!citizens!regardless!of!past!deeds.!Let!us!be!active! participants!and!leverage!the!political!and!economic!power!we!have,!use,!measure!and!hold!folks! accountable.!!Let!us!visit!and!utilize!the!many!institutions!which!surround!us.!Let!us!go!on!the!Black! Heritage!Trail!and!Celebrate!Black!History!Month.!! ! Resources:#! ! Florida!Black!Heritage!Trail! http://www.flheritage.com/preservation/trails/blackheritage/index.cfm! ! Hannibal!Heritage!Square!Center!! http://www.hannibalsquareheritagecenter.org/! ! Zora!Neale!Hurston!Museum! http://www.zoranealehurstonmuseum.com/! ! Daytona!Beach!Black!Heritage!Trail!! http://www.codb.us/index.aspx?nid=400!! ! African!American!History!Month!! http://www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/! ! Florida!Black!History!Month!! http://www.floridablackhistory.com! ! PBS!Black!Culture!Connection! http://www.pbs.org/black<culture/home/! ! Florida!African!American!Heritage!Preservation!Network!! http://www.faahpn.com/!

! Florida!African!American!Heritage!Preservation!Network!! Directory!of!Florida!African<American!Museums!! http://www.faahpn.com/faaphn/?page_id=13! ! ! Dr.!Carter!G.!Woodson!African!American!Museum!! http://www.woodsonmuseum.org/index.htm! ! ! The!Black!Experience:!A!Guide!to!African!American!Resources!in!the!State!Library!and!Archives!of!Florida.!! http://www.floridamemory.com/collections/blackexperience/! ! African!Americans!in!Florida!(book)!! By!Maxine!D!Jones,!Kevin!M.!McCarthy!! ! ! ! ! ! !

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful