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Iroquois Principal's Corner — February 2, 2021

Let’s celebrate!

"Why?" you might ask. Because February is Black History Month. Black History Month dates as far back as 1926 when black leaders in our great nation wanted to dedicate time to celebrate the history and accomplishments of African Americans. They chose February because the celebration would coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas. It was originally only a two-week span of time, but about 40 years ago, February became the official month to celebrate Black History.

I just love studying history and nonfiction. Thinking about what our life in our world used to be like, what it looked like, and what people did to survive fascinates me. I wasn’t always a history buff. I grew curious about things from the past. I wasn’t there, so I picked up books written by people who were there or whose journals and letters were organized into a book. Real people who experienced real struggles and real successes. Real pain and real joy. People who endured unimaginable odds and overcame. The people of the past inspire me to look at the odds of life and push hard to overcome the unimaginable.

Celebrating Black History Month is a time dedicated to honoring and learning specifically about African American heroes who have made great contributions and accomplishments that have made our country great and that still live on today. A month dedicated to African American brothers and sisters who have overcome unimaginable odds. 

Look up Matthew Henson, Lewis Latimer, Shirley Ann Jackson, Otis Boykin, Charles Drew, and Marian R. Croak. This is a short and incomplete list of African American people who have made significant contributions to life as we know it today. Each one of us has benefitted from them.

This month is a month to celebrate Black heroes in our world and nation. It’s a month to give thanks for those who have lived through tough stuff and have overcome. Whether our heroes look like us or look different from us, we give praise to God for blessing his children, our brothers and sisters, with extraordinary gifts. Let’s celebrate!

—John Barkel

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