Feb. 5, 2021 | By Ernest Jones | Director of Child Well-Being

As this week is quickly coming to an end, I can’t help but to reflect on the events of this past year. How African Americans have been thrust into the spotlight due to horrible acts of police brutality, social injustices, and institutional racism.

Albeit today is nowhere near the same as the time period between the late 1700s through the 1970s, but for most of us last year was the most significant movement of our lifetime as African Americans.

So for me Black History Month hits a little bit differently this year. I’m not saying that it wasn’t important to me the previous years, but what I am saying is it has taken on a new meaning.

Black history month means being proud of my heritage, who I am, and how far we have come.

A new appreciation for what those have actually done and gone through before me. A responsibility I have to pass on knowledge to others after me. An understanding of not only great achievements by African Americans, but what was endured to reach those achievements in this country.

This month our schools will be teaching our children about the George Washington Carvers, Sidney Poitiers, and Martin Luther King Jrs of the world.

I want my children to pay homage to those before us, but also give flowers to those who are doing it now. I think about the first black President and Vice President of the United States. I think about Tyler Perry who outright owns his own film production studio.

I think about the African Americans in sports, movies, and business that continue to break barriers, even in times that suggest they should not be successful.

These are the things that make me proud to be African American, but more importantly being able to share those moments with my children is priceless!

Black history month means being proud of my heritage, who I am, and how far we have come. So please celebrate Black History month and all the contributions that African Americans have provided this country in a way that is productive and with love!

Thank you!