- February 14, 2013
Post submitted by Bishop Carlton Pearson, founder of the church Higher Dimensions in Tulsa, Okla., and current Interim Senior Pastor at Chicago's Christ Universal Temple.
Black History month means more like "Back" History month to me this year. Not that we are going back, or backwards, but that we are reflecting on history behind us and how it seems to be changing comprehensively in more profound ways and with a new momentum.
"Black History Month" this year represents for me, a season when we can't help but to notice the progress our democratic nation has made and continues to make toward equal, civil and human rights for all, against the conspicuous odds of stubbornly resident old guard conservative traditions.
This is not just an Obama Presidency. This is an Obama Era. He and First Lady Michelle embody the progress of both a people and a culture, not to mention a country. The world is making note of the obvious movements, moments and momentum of our country during this uniquely transformational season in our and human history. Immanuel Kant wrote: "May you live your life as if the maxim of your actions were to become universal law." In never more conspicuous ways than today, American History is inextricably connected to world history as well as African American history. We continue to be a global trendsetter with respect to social customs and human rights issues.
That President Obama was elected to a second term with the significant lead he had and then to have his Inaugural Ceremony on Martin Luther King Day, placing his hand on the bible of Dr King and Abraham Lincoln, the signer of the Emancipation Proclamation, for the swearing-in ceremony sent amplified and magnified signals to our country and to the waiting, watching and in many ways "welcoming" world, first, second and third.
Several Inaugural speakers made specific reference to women, the LBGT community and overall inclusion for "We the People." I could hear an echo of the prophetic voice and words of Dr King's famous speech given on the same Washington Mall, "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
Even issues like woman being officially allowed to participate in combat in the military is a huge signal that change has come and continues to come in American History, especially with regard to civil and human rights for all people and all segments of our citizenry.
This year's African American History month marks a global shift in consciousness that can and will not be ignored or denied. I have never been more proud to be an American, African American and an American African, one with expanded consciousness and radically inclusive love for all.
Stay tuned to HRC blog throughout the month for more from our Black History Month blog series, featuring a cadre of African-American LGBT leaders. This February we honor those who have paved a way for us all as we continue our work toward justice and equality together.