February is Black History Month, and to quote David Mathis, it "may be as important as it’s ever been." He goes on, "[I]n 2017....when racial tensions nationwide may be at a generational high, in the wake of the Ferguson unrest, viral videos of police brutality, and a racially charged election cycle...observances such as Black History Month, even though they can’t do all the work on their own, have a role to play in our healing as a nation." (You can read Mathis's blog here).
Jemar Tisby from the Reformed African American Network (RAAN) lays out five reasons (there are probably many more) why we should participate in Black History Month.
- Celebrating Black History Month Honors the Historic Leaders of the Black Community
- Celebrating Black History Month Helps Us to Be Better Stewards of the Privileges We’ve Gained
- Celebrating Black History Month Provides an Opportunity to Highlight the Best of Black History & Culture
- Celebrating Black History Month Creates Awareness for All People
- Celebrating Black History Month Reminds Us All that Black History Is OUR History
(You can read Tisby's entire article here).
In agreement with both Mathis's and Tisby's sentiments; namely, that Black History Month is an important event that we should participate in, we are excited at Immanuel to celebrate it in two unique ways.
First, through a three-part blog series released on every Wednesday this month (Feb. 8th, 15th, and 22nd), we will be featuring three individuals who, from our vantage point, are significantly shaping culture and making a difference for the black community and the Kingdom of Christ.
Secondly, we are featuring an art exhibit from artist and Immanuel member Kashara Johnson. In her own words, "[My] artwork centers around the concept of personal identity within the African American community. The works on display revisit ancestral roots, address the loss of history as a result of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, and look ahead to the future. Through her art, Kashara hopes to shed light on the untold stories of the African American community in hopes of creating a stronger sense of collective identity."
Artist and Immanuel member Sarah Atkins has also contributed to the exhibit, and you can find their work displayed at 2420 5th Ave. S, Birmingham, AL 35233 all this month.