From a Lay Leader's Desk

A series of opinion articles from lay leaders in our synod.



Feb 17, 2021

By Regina Daniels, MNYS Administrative Assistant

Here it is the month of February; the month that the United States of America celebrates Black History. An educator and historian, Carter G. Woodson, found very little information about Black people in his research. He knew it was said if a People has no history, no worthwhile traditions, the People resigns to become a negative factor in the thought of the world and becomes in danger of being exterminated. So, in 1926, Dr. Woodson chose the second week in February, because Abraham Lincoln’s birthday was the 12th & Fredrick Douglas’ Birthday was the 14th, to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of the Negro to the history of the United States of America. In the mid-1960’s, during the Civil Rights Movement, Black colleges and universities increased it to a month.
As an African American staff member of the MNYS, I take my responsibilities as an Administrative Assistant very seriously. I use the position I have to downplay the negative stereotypes People of Color have been labeled with by the media, by coming into the office early and working late into the evening. It’s a big task, one that I’ve taken on myself. I understand the concept of “Black History” month, to remind all people that “Black People” contributed to the history of the United States as well. We’re not just an afterthought—to me it’s not “Black” history, it’s just history.
We are surrounded by history day in, day out. We are surrounded by the contributions of Black inventors day in and day out: every time you stop at a Traffic Light (invented by a Black man, Garrett Morgan) or turn on a light in your house or see lights in the streets (Lewis Howard Latimer, assistant to Thomas Edison, contributed the thin piece of metal in the light bulb that makes it light up). There are other inventions, too. If history was truly taught in schools you would know how science tells us there’s only one race—the human race, and how science has also proven that DNA evidence goes back to the actual first humans on earth, who were Africans.
But I also know about the Love of God. God loves me so much that he made me in his image, God loves me so much that he sent his only begotten son, Jesus Christ to take away my sin, and I know it’s that love that strengthens me to be this beautiful Black female working in the MNYS office. The Love of God has a way of keeping you focused and centered when chaos is all around, helping you see clearly what truly matters. Matthew 22:37-40—Jesus said unto him, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.