February has been set aside as the specific month (Black History Month) to pay tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve citizenship and equality in the USA. February is a time to turn the spotlight on the contributions, triumphs, and sacrifices of African Americans. It is a time to pause, to reflect, to recognize and understand how the injustices imposed on the Black population have become ingrained within and shaped our nation’s history, with adverse effects. It is a time to look at our prejudices, our racial biases of peoples other than those from our “clan.” A time to consider the importance of diversity and how closed hearts limit the appreciation of the uniqueness of an individual or ethnic group of people.
Today (Sunday Feb 28) was a day of joy, a day of savoring the richness, the uniqueness, the essence, the flavor associated with black heritage. After church, we lunched with friends at a Louisiana Creole Café that served Southern and Creole food. Conversation is always thought provoking with this group.
Next, we headed to the Woodson African American Museum of Florida, previously called Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum) for an outdoor Jazz concert presented by the Scotty Wright Quintet. Could not have been better! The program included the music of B.B. King, Charles Brown, Willie Dixon, Robert Johnson, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington and Buddy Johnson.
Terrific performance in a beautiful outdoor venue, where music, weather and the social atmosphere of attendees spoke to one’s soul with an inviting whisper. So enjoyably refreshing and invigorating! Think of our loss, without the past and present great African American musicians.
A brief on the Woodson Museum of African American Museum: The Museum celebrates local Black history as well as the accomplishments of African Americans. Under the executive director leadership of Terri Lipsey Scott, an exuberant influencer, the Museum seeks to present African American history to a broad diverse audience through activities that will aid in the understanding, respect, and appreciation of African American accomplishments in art, culture, history, music and literature.
An end goal is to present, protect, interpret, preserve history and to enhance our ability as a society to respect, value diversity and foster equal rights and social justice. Additionally, the Museum provides educational scholarships for Black students.
The Woodson Museum is named after Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950). Woodson was the second African American to graduate Harvard with a doctorate degree and the only person of enslaved parentage to earn a PhD in History from any institution in the United States.
Woodson believed it was critical to teach the history of Black Americans to the public to ensure intellectual survival of the race within broader society. Otherwise, they would become a negligible factor in the thought of the world and be in danger of being exterminated. Woodson is known nationally as the “father of black history”.
The Journal of Negro History was founded in 1916 by Woodson. In February 1926, he launched the celebration of “Negro History Week” to talk about the contributions that Black people had made to America. Negro History Week is considered the precursor of Black History Month which was founded in 1970.
A couple of summaries on Woodson can be found at: