The history of Black America is intertwined with the blood of slavery and the fight for freedom. There is an overwhelming and unfortunate perception that the African-American role in US history is limited to the years of slavery. Education, healthy discussions, and intellectual progression result in drawing attention to the accomplishments of African-Americans who helped shape the United States of today.
A 76-year-old man expressed that, although he had worked hard throughout his life, he wishes there was more he could do to help his community now. Many of the elderly participants shared this sentiment and conveyed how concerned they were about the harsh realities and challenges their younger counterparts are facing today. A young man at the gathering noted that, despite working two jobs and volunteering often like many others, African-Americans are still unjustly perceived and portrayed in a negative light. He commented that the media contributes to highlighting the struggles of the community in a way that steals the possibility of any spotlight on all the good that emerges from the community.
Karen, a frequent volunteer at ZFCCC, attended the event and shared a very special story about a little girl who was so frightened by the events in the movie that she left the theater before the film was over. “This was an example of what her parents and grandparents went through so that she could go to school, to get to vote,” Karen pointed out. She comforted the girl and helped her understand why it was so important for kids like her to work hard in school and build a strong future for the African-American community.
ZFCCC has become somewhat of a safe haven for the South Shore neighborhood during the past few years. In recognition of regular attendance and supportive voluntary service, Certificates of Appreciation were passed out to longtime participants. Since its inception in 1926, Black History month has greatly contributed to the revival of African-American history, a tale of tremendous triumph in the face of unspeakable human tragedy. African-Americans have played a crucial role in the history of this great nation from the time of slavery through the civil war and to this very day.