Saturday, February 6, 2010

Islam and Black History Month

2010 marks the 34th year officially celebrating Black History Month. For generations, people have been celebrating and learning about the contributions of African Americans to American society since 1976 when Carter G. Woodson, the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, initiated the celebration of Black History Month as an extension to Negro History Week which he had established in 1926 as a means of documenting and researching the contributions of Africans to civilization. Woodson had seen first hand the lack of knowledge presented about African Americans while attending Harvard University, one of the top universities in the United States, and went about the task of rectifying the situation.

In effect, Black History Month became more than just a holiday; it became a way of rebuilding the psyche of American culture by reminding its citizens of teh great contributions that Africans and African Americans have made to the advancement of all aspects of society. Throughout the United States communities annually commemorate Black History Month with special events, concerts, lectures, plays, exhibits and various other forums to educate, inform and remind its citizens of African American achievements and discoveries.
In Houston, events like the Buffalo Soldiers display at local libraries and the Children's Express Theatre's presentation of the play, "The Freedom Train" at the African American Library at the Gregory School are just two examples of keeping our communities informed and thus more tolerant and better educated.

In light of that, a little known fact about the Islamic religion is that Islam was also rising to prominence among blacks iin the U.S. around the time that Negro History Week was being implemented by Carter G. Woodson.

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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