Black Future Month: Why We Choose to Look Ahead

BlackLivesBlack History Month, held each February, is a consecrated time on America’s calendar when we honor the sacrifices of our ancestors: the tireless efforts of women’s rights activists like Sojourner Truth, abolitionists like Frederick Douglass, thought leaders like W.E.B Du Bois, movement shakers like Martin Luther King Jr., and voting rights activists like Fannie Lou Hamer.

These leaders, their names are familiar from Black History Month lessons and tributes, worked over centuries to address the country’s moral failure to value black lives. From the moment that the first blacks were forcibly removed from West Africa and placed on this soil, we have fought for this country to recognize what God has always affirmed: our humanity.

The figures honored during Black History Month have granted us freedom, the ability to vote, and housing and employment legislation promising equal opportunity. Schools are no longer segregated, we are sitting at the same lunch counters and in the same restaurants as our white brothers and sisters, and we are generally living better lives than our ancestors. The significance of these gains cannot be overstated.

While we must remember the sacrifices of those who came before us, we cannot allow memory to dull us to the present reality. In 2015, it’s become all the more important for black people to envision how we will build upon the work of our ancestors. What will our contribution be in a society that continues to struggle with systemic injustice?

Writing for Sojourners, Dominique DuBois Gillard explains how this February marks not only Black History Month, but also Black Future Month:

Black Future Month, a term coined by the new black vanguard, seeks to build upon the robust legacy of our foreparents while refusing to nostalgically rest upon their laurels. Black Future Month affirms our collective history of struggle, resilience, and achievement, while centering our present predicament in all its urgency.

With all of the contributions of black people throughout our nation’s history, not to mention having a black man in the highest seat of decision-making authority in this land, many people believe that we live in a post-racial society, or a society where race is no longer a factor in determining our access to opportunities. Some have even questioned the continual need for Black History month.

But then, three years ago today, Trayvon Martin was shot and killed. His death stirred something in America’s consciousness and challenged the myth about living in a post-racial nation. And when Jordan Davis, another unarmed black teenager died several months later, the questions rose again. Unfortunately, over the last few years, we have seen more of the same—countless black men, women, and children killed due to police brutality or over-zealous citizenry taking the law into their own hands. 2014 was replete with them—Eric Garner, Dontre Hamilton, John Crawford, Mike Brown, and Tamir Rice.

Read the rest of this post over at Christianity Today >

2 thoughts on “Black Future Month: Why We Choose to Look Ahead

  1. Barbara Fadirepo

    Ebony thank you so much for your articles and blogs! They are insightful, informative and seek to see the Kingdom of God take it’s rightful place here on earth! God has gifted you in writing to let the world know His heart concerning the important issues and concerns of our preset and future history!

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