Things We Hear & See: A Place In The Sun
In Celebration of Black History Month — 2014
“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” – Wilma Rudolph
As we know, February is Black History Month. If you’re like me, growing up in the city and attending public school in the 70’s and 80’s, this is the time of year when we’d read a few quotes from Dr. King, and sing Lift Every Voice and Sing (rarely getting past the 1st verse). These small gestures made the students and the schools administration feel as though we had done our part in contributing to Black History Month. Surely we had overcome.
Fast forward some decades later. While Black History Month is certainly a time to reflect and remember, we should work to move beyond struggle, and strive for resurgence: resurgence of love, community, and the common idea of helping each other. In essence, all of the things we were put here to do.
Over the weekend I was channel surfing and caught one of my favorite movies, “Mr. Holland’s Opus.” Near the end of the film, Mr. Holland is fired due to cuts in funding for the arts. As he prepares to leave, he’s escorted into the auditorium where he’s welcomed to a standing ovation by all of his former students. Mr. Holland had dreams of traveling the world and writing great symphonies; he felt he had “settled” for being a music teacher in the public school system. Needless to say he was overwhelmed by the success of his former students and the stories of how he had touched their lives.
Everything we do can have an impact on the lives of others. Stevie sang of a place in the sun, where there’s hope for everyone; regardless of our hue or what side of the tracks we’re from, I need you and you need me.
For the month of February and beyond, here is a list of 5 small things we can do to make a difference. Go ahead and find your place in the sun:
- Read: To children at schools and seniors at senior facilities.
- Visit: The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Volunteer: Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Meals on Wheels
- Give: To a local charity or homeless shelter
- Donate: COTS or a local church clothing closet
Feature photo by Enokson (Flickr)