Why do I do this? Why is Black History important to me? Short answer…I do not want children to grow up not knowing their history. Not knowing that African Americans have played a major role in the progress of this country. I do not want African American children, or any other children for that matter, to think that the major role Black people played in American history is as slaves. Yes, slavery is a part of our history; however, along with the slavery came the birth of some very extraordinary African American inventors and scientists. And, in some cases, as a result of being slaves, they overcame and persevered through treacherous times and still provided this country with some extraordinary innovations. Some that we still enjoy today.
I do this for them…
I do this because, like so many other people, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. And if you want to change something, you have to do something. What I’m doing is SOMETHING.
We can bitch and moan and groan about what folks are or are not doing, but YOU have to do something too. For me, I say put a book in your child’s hand. Yes, a book. A book gives a child hope. A book gives a child an opportunity to dream and aspire. A book can provide a child with a mentor. A book can provide you and your child a conversation about what they want to do when they grow up. A book can provide a child with ideas.
Reading about Black History is a game changer. Learning about the thousands of other Hidden Figures from the past and present is an inspiring experience. Reading children’s books with African American children characters is a game changer for all children. They play together. Why shouldn’t they see each other playing together in books too?
I do this because I love learning about the wonderful things African American people have accomplished in the past and now. I love reading about what extraordinary children are doing these days. But, what I love most is sharing that information with you.
Let’s give them and you something to talk about. Talk to your children and take them outside for heaven’s sake!!!
One of my favorite quotes is “Laundry is the only thing that should be separated by color.”
Did you know…
Emmet Ashford was the first African American umpire in Major League Baseball, working in the American League from 1966 to 1970. By the early 1960s, many West Coast sportswriters began to suggest that Ashford be promoted to the major leagues. In September 1965, Ashford’s contract was sold to the American League. Ashford made his debut at D.C. Stadium on April 11, 1966. He quickly became a sensation, becoming known for sprinting around the infield after foul balls or plays on the bases. Ashford also brought a new style to being an umpire. He wore jewelry, including flashy cuff links, and wore polished shoes and freshly-pressed suits. While some observers believed that his race prevented him from working in the majors earlier than he did, others maintained that his flashy style actually delayed his major league debut due to general disdain for umpires to draw attention to themselves. The Sporting News stated that “For the first time in the history of the grand old American game, baseball fans may buy a ticket to watch an umpire perform.”
Ashford was the left field umpire in the 1967 All-Star Game, and worked all five games of the 1970 World Series, but did not work home plate. Ashford reached the American League’s retirement age of 55 in December 1969, but still umpired one additional season in 1970 before retiring. Read more here