Wednesday will mark 111 years of the NAACP’s existence.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was formed in 1909 to ensure, according to its website, to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all citizens.
The NAACP does a fine job in fulfilling that purpose, and while it’s taken entirely too long for the country to make progress in ensuring those rights, there has indeed been significant progress. Still, there’s a long way to go.
What better time to enhance awareness of that than Black History Month?
A month isn’t nearly long enough to celebrate this history — but it offers a wonderful time for reflecting on countless accomplishments.
President Gerald Ford, according to history.com, officially recognized Black History Month in 1976. He implored the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often-neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
Let’s make a concerted effort to honor this rich history year-round.
Here’s a quick look at some notable milestones this year:
•The Harlem Renaissance (1920) occurred 100 years ago. Talented performers such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Josephine Baker were some big-name entertainers during this time. Paul Laurence Dunbar — after whom a high school in Lexington is named — was a strong writer.
•Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955) was 65 years ago. Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man, leading to her arrest and also leading to a boycott of the city’s municipal bus company, spearheaded by Martin Luther King Jr.
•The Sit-In Movement (1960) happened 60 years ago. Four black students from the Agricultural and Technical College in Greensboro, North Carolina, were refused service after sitting down at a whites-only store lunch counter. They stayed put until the store closed, and then returned the next day. It started a nationwide movement.
•The Million Man March (1995) took place 25 years ago. The march was organized to bring positive attention to dedicated, disciplined, inspiring black men.
These are just a few events celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2020. They should be remembered and celebrated often — not only in February.