Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Black History Month:Yes We Can!

“Yes we can!”

It just resonates and so easy on the ears. I haven’t gotten tired of repeating it in all these many months since the beginning of Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign. And now it becomes almost prophetic and spiritual when I hear it spoken. Not only could he, but he did! Barack Obama is now officially the 44th President of the United States of America!

And if his inaugural speech is a gauge, it’s been worth the wait. Not only are we “a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers” but also, “As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.” I don’t know about you, but I am encouraged! May it only get better!

In the wake of the exhilaration the 44th Presidential Inauguration and its Balls came the National Prayer Service. I enjoyed watching immensely despite the fact that Chris Matthews of MSNBC’s Hardball and the infamous Pat Buchanan went the way of Fox News and used the prospect of a Muslim woman participating in the service as an opportunity to cast a shadow upon Muslims and President Obama.

The most impressive speaker for me was the Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins of the Christian Church in the United States and Canada. From her inclusion of the Cherokee wisdom about the two struggling wolves inside each of us to how she seamlessly worked mentioning the consensus of Muslim scholars in the dominant/shared peace loving values in Islam when she said, “Well, according to Isaiah, summed up by Jesus, affirmed by a worldwide community of Muslim scholars and many others, it is by facing hard times with a generous spirit: by reaching out toward each other rather than turning our backs on each other.” There were so many inspirational moments to her sermon that I’ve included a link; you can click here to read it in its entirety.

It goes without saying that Black History Month is very special for African Americans this year, almost as though all of the collective struggles of the past are beginning to bear fruit in the present. Black History Month has come to be a re-affirming of the full humanity that has at times been denied to me, and this year has a special place in my heart because of the sign that perhaps all that my people have gone through has not been in vain; that the legacy of our country need not be so tainted.

We are our brother’s and sister’s keepers. We do and should matter to one another and must do all that we can to guide, help and care for one another. To borrow once again from the Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, “You yourself, Mr. President, have already added to this call, "If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child... . It's that fundamental belief - I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper - that makes this country work."”

Happy Black History Month all with many, many blessings!

Life Reminders

Psalm 145:8-9 The Lord is Gracious and Merciful
The Lord is Gracious and Merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and His Compassion is over all that He has made.

Matthew 11:28 Gentleness and Humility
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Surah 33:21 Beautiful Pattern of Conduct
Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern of conduct for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah.

Sahih Muslim, Book Unknown: Changing an Evil Action
“Whosoever of you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart; and that is the weakest of faith.”

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