Nothing pains my heart so much as to see how little pride we seem to have as a race. I grew up at a time and in a culture where I was nurtured to believe that poverty was not the worst thing that could happen to one in life, but the loss of pride. You could be poor as we were, but you could still have pride.
To see our young people dropping out of school as a sign that they have dropped out of life, pains my heart. They are the hope of our future. But if they fail to see the necessity of preparing themselves today, they will have no future to speak of tomorrow.
The pride we had in ourselves as African-Americans was based on our knowledge of our history. At school and in church, we were told that we came from Kings and Queens; that we were princes and princesses! They told us that so often we started to believe it.
Our young people do not suffer from amnesia. Amnesia is forgetting something you once knew. Our tragedy is that we haven’t told them their history.
Moses warned the Children of Israel that they would not succeed if they forgot their history. He said to them: “You shall remember all the way the Lord your God has led you. . .” (Deuteronomy 8:2)
As we gather today to celebrate our heritage as a people, we must remember that God has been good to us. Our history is a spiritual history. Our history is not just a collection of famous persons, amazing facts, and momentous events. Our history is spiritual. We’ve come this far by faith!
Let us not forget that the Lord has brought us. And most of all, let us not fail to tell our children: the Lord brought us!