FROM THEN TO NOW
By the grace of God, we are alive to witness February which is Black History Month. In the last three weeks, we discussed how Black History Month emanated, we highlighted the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and we accentuated the life of Rosa Parks. Today, we need to take a brief pilgrimage “From Then To Now.”
African Americans have come from a mighty long way! Black people were shipped from Africa to America as slaves about 400 hundred years ago being abused and mistreated until January 1, 1862, when the Emancipation Proclamation became effective as ordered by President Abraham Lincoln.
Although Black people were purportedly emancipated almost two centuries ago, African Americans have encountered numerous challenges. For example, racism was so bad in the 1960s that it fomented the Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Movement in the United States was a campaign (for the duration of a decade) by African Americans and their like-minded allies to end institutionalized racial discrimination, disenfranchisement and racial segregation in the United States.
The battle for equality is ongoing! For instance, a global protest occurred last year after a White police officer murdered George Floyd (an African American man) suffocating him with his knee on Floyd’s neck. As a result, more began to proclaim that Black Lives Matter. (By the way, the Black Lives Matter foundation raised 90 million dollars in 2020.)
Notwithstanding all the abuse that Black people have endured in our country, African Americans have experienced much success. Our nation would not be as prolific without the contributions of numerous African Americans, so we are proud of our Black protagonists. For example, who would have ever thought that a Black man would serve as the President of the United States in our lifetime? On November 4, 2008, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois defeated Senator John McCain of Arizona to become the 44th United States President and the first African American elected to the White House.
Furthermore, who would have ever thought that a Black woman would serve as the Vice President of the United States in our lifetime? Kamala Harris is a person of many firsts: the nation’s first female, first African American, first South Asian American and first Jamaican American to hold the second-highest office in our country. She was sworn into office as the Vice President of the United States on January 20, 2021.
In this discourse, “From Then To Now” is just a brief synopsis of the African American pilgrimage from past to present. As Black people, we still have a long way to go, but we shall get there as long as we faithfully hold on to God’s unchanging hand. Although we are fast approaching the culmination of February, Black History is too much of American History to confine to just one month. Maya Angelou expressed her hope for a time when Black History Month will no longer be needed to explain the contributions of African Americans. She said: “We want to reach a time when there won’t be Black History Month, when black history will be so integrated into American history that we study it along with every other history….” The hope of Maya Angelou should be the hope of all Americans because American History would be bleak without Black History.
In conclusion, we pray that God will continue to bless African Americans. We also pray that God will continue to bless St. John—a great church reliant on our financial support. Currently, we give by mailing or dropping off our Tithes and Offerings to our St. John South Campus (662 South 52nd Street—Richmond, CA 94804) or by giving online through our website (sjmbc.org).
May God bless and sustain each of us.
Your Servant In Christ,
Dr. Kevin B. Hall, Pastor