Honoring Black History Month
By Najja R. Orr, MBA, DBA, PCA president & CEO
No matter what one’s race, ethnicity, skin color, gender or creed is, we can all do our part to resist oppression by advocating for equality and denouncing racism in all its forms.
We can all take steps to educate ourselves about the achievements of African Americans throughout history and engage in conversations or other activities that deepen our understanding of Black culture.
PCA’s February 2023 Milestones newspaper includes information about resources to support the unique needs of African and Caribbean older adults (page 4), highlights of Philadelphia’s Black cultural treasures (page 7), events commemorating Black History Month (pages 8-9), and delicious heart-healthy soul food recipes (page 12).
Black History Month 2023
Since 1976, every American president has designated February as Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme. The 2023 Black History Month theme is “Black Resistance,”which explores how African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms, since the nation’s earliest days.
“Our use of passive resistance is not based on resistance to get rights for ourselves, but to achieve friendship with the men who are denying us our rights, and change them through friendship and a bond of Christian understanding before God,”– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
According to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s website, which selects Black History Month themes, “resistance efforts have been to advocate for a dignified self-determined life in a just democratic society in the United States and beyond our political jurisdiction.”
The struggle for equality and justice for all Americans, as well as the resistance to racial oppression, are constant battles. However, these efforts need not be violent to be effective. We can make our voices heard through peaceful events, voting, advocacy, education, social media, and more. Whatever peaceful method you choose, speaking up to denounce racism in all its forms is perhaps the most effective method of “Black Resistance.”
For more information about Black History Month, go to history.com/topics/black-history or BlackHistoryMonth.gov. The Free Library of Philadelphia also offers a wealth of information, events and activities on Black history at 1-833- TALK FLP (825-5357) or freelibrary.org/programs/black-history-month.
Photo credit: Cecil B. Moore Philadelphia Freedom Fighters © 2021 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Felix St. Fort & Gabe Tiberino, 2201 College Avenue. Photo by Steve Weinik.