TO: Blacks In Government Members and Supporters
FROM: Honorable Shirley A. Jones, Esq., National President, Blacks In Government
SUBJECT: Black History Month 2021 Celebrates the Black Family
Each year the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) creates a National Black History Month theme that is used for cultural awareness programs around the country in schools, businesses, and within our government agencies. Established in 1915 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the founder of Black History Month, the Association carries forward his love of Black history. It also supports his belief that it should be celebrated as an integral part of American history, highlighting notable accomplishments that have gone unnoticed and, like BIG, addressing issues that are of concern within the black community.
In its description of the 2021 theme, The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity, ASALH notes that no single word is more illustrative of our humanity than the word “family”. ASALH offers that it stands at the heart of human relationships, representing the essence of the ties that bind people together.
And, as ASALH notes in its description of the theme, many of us also identify and claim family kinship through nonblood relationships. We recognize and find ties that bind through our church families, sororities and fraternities, and in employee resource and support organizations like we have with BIG.
I am personally very proud to belong to an organization that continues to recognize the importance of Black History Month and that uses its talents and resources to ensure its longevity. Like BIG, Black History Month was borne out of necessity and its necessity remains. In fact, as Dr. Woodson himself noted, that need will continue until black history is fully taught alongside and within American history and world history such that it isn't simply relegated to the details of slavery and the Civil War and the occasional mention of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, Jr., and now former President Barack Obama. Until then, we continue.