Contributions of black citizens continue even as Black History Month ends

Published 5:42 am Tuesday, February 24, 2009

By Staff
As February draws to a close, we bid farewell to Black History Month.
But we cherish the local people who have made it special, and rejoice that they’re contributions to our community will continue. As evidenced in Sunday’s Daily News, Washington is blessed with a remarkable array of talented, inspirational black citizens who lead through word and deed.
Sunday’s Black History Month story profiled six of our area’s leading black citizens, diverse in occupation, but unified through compassion and dedication. We believe they represent a good cross-section of our community, though we know we only scratched the surface.
Throughout Beaufort and surrounding counties, black residents — some publicly prominent, others not — contribute to our communities in a variety of ways. The role of African-Americans in the history of our country is filled with examples of insight, intuition and ingenuity.
That blacks struggled through monstrous degradation in America is still one of this country’s most embarrassing calamities. That those challenges often shined light on the integrity of the oppressed cannot be disputed.
Think Martin Luther King Jr, Louis Armstrong, Rosa Parks, James Baldwin, Harriet Tubman, Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owens — the list is endless. These men and women knew the sting of Jim Crow laws and rose above them to blaze trails the likes of which we may never see again.
Many of our area’s older black citizens also experienced racism, and through courage, fortitude and faith rose above their humiliating circumstances to lead productive, dignified lives. Some younger black people are just now starting to embrace their history and that of their ancestors. We encourage them to continue that illuminating process. There is much to admire in the pages of black history.
And there is much to admire in our area’s own black citizens.
We honor you.