Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Black History and the Law of Attraction

I thought about title of this post and I found myself deep inside my own head trying to figure out how I would tie it together. It's Black History Month for a few more days and, being African-American and a practitioner of the Law of Attraction, I knew there was a connection which is why this post was delayed for a little while. I wanted to get it right.

You see, all the famous names are thrown out there for people to learn about: George Washington Carver, Jackie Robinson, Booker T. Washington, but no one teaches the history of the history celebration. It started out as a week of service called Negro History Week by Carter G. Woodson. The joke amongst African Americans is that the mainstream gave "us" the shortest month, however the truth is that Woodson chose February for his week because it's the month when his two heroes, Fredrick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln were born. Choosing here is important.

At the time Negro History Week was being put together, Woodson, a historian, wanted to spotlight black history because that history was barely being taught to anyone, black or white. Mostly the representation of African Americans highlighted the fact that they were former slaves and that, as such, they had a lower standing in the societal pecking order. Woodson used his influence to show that African Americans were much more and, though it was controversial at the time, equal to everyone.

Carter Woodson, while he may not have known it, invoked the Law of Attraction. His action to develop Negro History Week helped to expand the vision that Americans had of their African American brothers and sisters. Because he wanted equality to happen, and took the steps he saw as necessary, the week expanded to a month. While it was too early in history for Woodson to march with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others during the Civil Rights Movement, he can be seen as a forefather of what became that movement.

And what can that teach us about the Law of Attraction? Think of it this way. Carter Woodson manifested a different way of thinking about an entire segment of the American population. He wanted blacks to understand that they didn't necessarily have to define themselves as former slaves and thereby continue the thought that they weren't good enough. It was okay to think of the accomplishments of Garrett Morgan and Madam C.J. Walker and understand that these were accomplished Americans.

And the idea of Black History Month has spread beyond the American shores. Britain celebrates their Black History Month in October. And yes, there is some controversy about whether we still need a Black History Month. Perhaps those arguments were rendered moot by the election of our first African American president. History is still being made.

And that history is still being celebrated, thanks to the thoughts of Carter Woodson and his manifestation of what has become Black History Month.

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