The Everlasting Light

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it givith light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. — Matthew 5: 14-16

This is the month set aside to honor those whose sacrifices changed this society for the better. Before his death Martin Luther King Jr. begged American society to live up to Thomas Jefferson’s immortal words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, That among these are life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” King gave his life to make this country better. His God-given light of hope was impossible to extinguish. The list of African Americans whose courage made life a little better for the black community is a long one. They need to be honored daily because of their sacrifices.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine, shine, shine
Let it shine!

Last year this country celebrated the end of the first Great War. This conflict changed the world’s power structure and this country’s perspective on race. There’s no question white supremacy and Jim Crow set the limits of racial interactions. For the most part, the black community accepted such limits. However, that changed once the war began.

The onset of the war led to labor shortages that were rectified by the migration of black labor from the South to the North. Sadly, when white soldiers returned home in 1918 they found blacks not only in their jobs but also in their community. With the return of the KKK white society literary waged war on many black communities throughout this country. To their dismay, the black community did not falter or fail, but began a slow campaign to be recognized as equal citizens. The efforts of Eleanor Roosevelt to include blacks and women in the Democratic Party during the 1930s is evidence that the challenge to white supremacy was real.

Everywhere I go, I’m gonna let it shine
Everywhere I go, I’m gonna let it shine
Everywhere I go, I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine, shine, shine
Let it shine!

Sadly, more than 100 years after segregated units fought to democracy and freedom throughout the world, black soldiers returned home to increased levels of racism and hate. What’s worse is the fact that the very government that sent them overseas failed to protect them upon their return. But it’s ok. This month we recognize their sacrifices. Too many black servicemen were lynched and harassed in uniform. I won’t let their sacrifices be forgotten, even as our society continues to “white-wash” American history.

Out there in the dark
I’m gonna let it shine
Out there in the dark
I’m gonna let it shine
Out there in the dark
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine, shine, shine
Let it shine!

See you next time.

PS: More than two years and counting since the American people were promised that Trump would release his taxes. I could care less what he’s worth, it’s the blatant deception that I object to. If it were Obama who failed to deliver on a promise everyone at Fox News would demand his resignation. A colorblind society? I think not.