ADLA | 2023 Black History Month Study Materials
Jan 26, 2023
African Descent Lutheran Association Presents:
Black History Month Study Resources for 2023
Teach and urge these duties. Whoever teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that is in accordance with godliness, is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words. From these come envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, and wrangling among those who are depraved in mind and bereft of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. (1 Timothy 6:3-5)
Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere, especially in education.
Recent attempts have been made to eliminate Black American history from schools. Some believe Black history is irrelevant to American history. These efforts have banned certain books and discussions about Black history in classrooms. The extent to which this has been done threatens recent empowerment efforts to advance studies related to Black history.
Eliminating Black history from the consciousness of our minds, banning books, and making it unlawful to teach the truth undermines efforts to continue the legacy of maintaining an important part of American history for future generations. Black History is interwoven into the history of American History. Neither can exist without the other.
Education is the key to remembering the impact of Black History from the 1400s. This requires making certain the legacy is not lost – but remembered. Ensuring Black history is never forgotten requires vigilance and a commitment to keeping our history alive. All efforts should be explored to maintain what we know for sure while uncovering information yet to be discovered.
In 1925 Carter G. Woodson, a noted African American historian, scholar, educator, and publisher, created what was known as “Negro History Week” to ensure Black history was not lost. It became a month-long celebration in 1976. The month of February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. Though the month of February has been designated to celebrate Black History, Black engagement in American culture should be documented throughout the year and does not even begin to educate society on Black influence with its full impact.
We hope this information will encourage further discussions to explore some of the forthcoming information and a desire to learn more. Each week will highlight different areas that have enhanced our lives.
WEEK I: Black Politicians
According to the History, Arts, and Archives of the United States House of Representatives, over 100 Black-elected Americans served in Congress from 1869. Presently there are 117 members for the 2021-2023 sessions. Representatives are/were Republicans and Democrats, House Representatives and Senators, and female and male, from various states. Many served multiple terms, and some are still serving today.
James Edwin Taylor (1857–1925): Ran for President in 1904 as a member of the National Negro Party.
Barbara Jordan (1936—1996): First African American woman elected to the Texas State Senate in 1966 and president of the Texas State Senate in 1972. In 1975 winning 81% of the vote, Barbara Jordan became the first African American in the 20th century to be elected to the US Congress from the south.
Maxine Walters (1938—present): Congresswoman Walters is often considered to be one of the most powerful women in American Politics today. In 2020 Walters was elected to her 16th term from the 43rd District in California to the US House of Representatives. Congresswoman Walters made history as the first woman and the first African American Chair of the House Financial Services Committee.
Shirley Chisholm (1924—2005): Known for her statement, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table - bring a folding chair.” Congresswoman Chisholm was the first African American Woman in Congress (1968). She also was the first African American woman who ran for President of the United States in 1972. In 1964 Chisholm became the second African American in the New York State Legislature. In 1968 she was elected to Congress. There she introduced more than 50 pieces of legislation and fought for racial and gender equality, the plight of the poor, and ending the Vietnam War. Chisholm was a co-founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus in 1971, and in 1977 became the first Black woman and second woman ever to serve on the powerful House Rules Committee.
Charles Rangle (1930—present): Served in the House of Representatives from 1971–2017. In his Harlem, New York district, he was known as the “Lion of Lenox Avenue.” Representative Charles Rangle rose to become the first African American Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. Upon his retirement, he reflected, “Thank God I never had to decide between doing the right thing or being defeated at the polls.”