Spotlight on Black History Month through a calendar

| February 18, 2014
Jeanie Summerville

Jeanie Summerville

Whatz up, babies?

To start off this week’s spotlight I say, I’m proud to be an African American and congratulations to all of us African Americans! For, by the grace of GOD, we’re alive and able to join in on all of the beauty from the festivities and events that this Black History Month brings to us, in the name of love.

I was born in Fort Wayne in the ’60s, a time when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., President John F. Kennedy and some others were trying to make a difference throughout the world for our well-being. As a youngster, I witnessed so many things on television of how so many people were being mistreated due to the color of their skin and all I could do was cry because there was nothing I could do about it. However, I did find much comfort in knowing that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the good people beside and behind him, were doing everything within their power to make a big difference. And, I believed that they would because I knew that Dr. King truly loved GOD and through GOD all things are possible and today, we have come along way. We still have a journey to travel but it’s a lot better than it was and I’m so proud of him.

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters, Malia, left, and Sasha, right, are pictured on the cover of the Celebration of Culture calendar. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters, Malia, left, and Sasha, right, are pictured on the cover of the Celebration of Culture calendar. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Now, the time has come for me to share in the beauty of Black History Month with you and what I share, came in the form of a calendar that reads “Celebration of Culture.” The calendar is courtesy of Community Care Pharmacy—you know, the pharmacy where it’s all about you! And, I share the contents of its beauty because it’s not a calendar you can buy. It’s a gift—a gift of love that’s given to all of the pharmacy customers and it’s absolutely lovely. Within the 12 months of this calendar, it shares wonderful accomplishments of African Americans that happened every single day throughout the months and I knew, for those of you who hadn’t seen it, you’d be proud. And, I also had to share it because for each month there are beautiful words of encouragement and I know that there are some African Americans who need to be constantly reminded of greatness that was brought to us from other African Americans. And, with me being me, if you’re one of those people, I love reminding you because it brings me joy to bring you reasons to be proud of yourselves and our race too.

I start by bringing to you the beauty through the verses from each month that was written from some fantastic, passionate, prestigious and honorable people. After that, the entire 28 days of February are broken down for you to share what beauty happened that particular day. So, at this particular time, all we want for you to do is just sit back, relax and enjoy. Or, Stand and Jump and Shout if you want too! You can do that, because Frost Illustrated is gonna bring it to ya and just feel the love babies, share it and be proud of it.

Here are the quotes from each month:

JANUARY: “Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all the other shallow things will not matter.”— Dr. Martin Luther Ling Jr. (Civil/human rights activist and religious leader), excerpt from sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Feb. 4, 1968

FEBRUARY: “If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started.”—Marcus Garvey (1920’s Black Nationalist).

MARCH: Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”—Ella Fitzgerald (Jazz Singer)

APRIL: “Remember that everyone’s life is measured by the power that individuals has to make the world better—this is all life is.”—Booker T. Washington (educator).

MAY: “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”—Colin Powell (American Statesman) JUNE: “Love is that condition in the human spirit so profound that it allows me to survive, and better than that, to thrive with passion, compassion and style.”—Maya Angelo (Author and poet)

JUNE: “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”—Zora Neale Hurston (Author)

AUGUST: In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe.”—Michael Jackson (Singer and songwriter)

SEPTEMBER: “As I stand here tonight, I have never been more hopeful about America. Not because I think I have all the answers. Not because I’m naïve about the magnitude of our challenges. I’m hopeful because of you.”—Barack Obama (48th President of the United States) Excerpt from speech accepting Democratic Nomination, 2012

OCTOBER: Opportunity follows struggle. It follows effort. It follows hard work. It doesn’t come before.”—Shelby Steele (Author and social activist)

NOVEMBER: “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong.”—George Washington Carver (Agricultural scientist)

DECEMBER: “Love always sees more than is in evidence at any moment of viewing.”—Howard Thurman (Pastor, poet, theologian and writer)

Isn’t that beautiful?

Now, here are some historic events that happened the month of February that are brought to us in this 2014 calendar:

Feb. 1, 1976, Black History Month inaugurated in honor of the USA’s bicentennial. 

Feb. 2, 1915, Ernest J. Just, genetic biologist awarded the Spingarn Medal. 

Feb. 3, 1870, U.S. Congress ratifies the 15th Amendment, which bars race as a qualification for voting. 

Feb. 4, 2007, Tony Dungy becomes the first African-American head coach to win the Super Bowl when the Indianapolis Colts beat the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI. 

Feb. 5, 1990, Barack Obama, Columbia University graduate and Harvard University law student, becomes the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review. 

Feb. 6, 1945, Bob Marley reggae musician born in Jamaica.

Feb. 7, 1984, Michael Jackson’s, Thriller, becomes the world’s best selling album when it is inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Feb. 8, 1986, Oprah Winfrey talk show becomes nationally syndicated.

Feb. 9, 1971, Leroy “Satchel” Paige inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. 

Feb. 10, 1966, Andrew Brimmer is appointed the first African American governor of the Federal Reserve Board by President Lyndon Johnson.

Feb. 11, 1990, Nelson Mandela released from South African prison after 27 years. 

Feb. 12, 1909, National Association for the advancement of Colored People founded in New York City. 

Feb. 13, 1923, The Renaissance, the first black pro basketball team formed. 

Feb. 14, 1867, Morehouse College, a historical black institution of higher learning, organized in Augusta, Ga. 

Feb. 15, 1804, New Jersey becomes the last northern state to abolish slavery. 

Feb. 16, 1874, Frederick Douglass elected president of the Freedman’s Bank and Trust. 

Feb. 17, 1963, Michael Jordan, basketball great, born in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Feb. 18, 2006, Shani Davis becomes the first African American to win an individual gold medal (for long track speed skating) at the Winter Olympus. 

Feb. 1927, 1919, W.E.B. DuBois organizes the first Pan-African Congress in Paris, France.

Feb. 20, 1927, Sidney Poitier, actor born in Miami, Florida. 

Feb. 21, 1965, Malcolm X, black nationalist, assassinated in Manhattan, N.Y. 

Feb. 22, 1989, First rap Grammy won by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince for their hit single “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” 

Feb. 23, 1995, Melvin Franklin, bass singer of the Temptations, dies of complications following a brain seizure in Los Angeles. 

Feb. 24, 1864, Rebecca Lee Crumpler becomes the first black woman to receive an M.D. degree and to graduate from the New England Female Medical College. 

Feb. 25, 1870, Hiram R. Revels of Mississippi is sworn in as the first black U.S. senator and first black representative in Congress. 

Feb. 26, 1926, Theodore “Georgia Deacon” Flowers becomes the first black middle-weight boxing champion. 

Feb. 27, 1988, Debi Thomas, figure skater, becomes the first African American to win a medal at the Winter Olympics. 

Feb. 28, 1932, Richard Spikes invents the automatic gear shift. 

Now in closing I say, you see, we as African Americans have the right to be proud of where we came from because through the bad times and the good times, we’re still here! Yes, we’re still here. So until next week, you’ve been up close with Jeanie. Bye, bye, babies.

P.S. If you would like The Spotlight shined upon you or someone that you know, all in the name of love, just send me an e-mail to upclosewithjeanie@yahoo.com. I’d love to hear from ya.

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Frost Illustrated is Fort Wayne's oldest weekly newspaper. Your Independent Voice in the Community, featuring news & views of African Americans since 1968.

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