I think that in a lot of ways we've gotten Black History Month completely wrong. We discuss slavery, Harriet Tubman, Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement, and George Washington Carver (sometimes); give thanks for "how far we've come"; and settle into some short-lived sense of pride. But once the clock strikes 12:00 am on March 1st, we (generally) iron, fold, and gently place that pride and remembrance back in our cedar chests and resume lives of mediocrity at best. The general feeling apathy is killing us.
And what a disservice we do to ourselves.
We reminisce about the past in wonder and rarely dare to believe we've got the same blood flowing through our veins as Harriet or Martin or Malcolm or Nat or Marcus or Ida or Mary. I don't know everything but one thing I do know is that Black History is as relevant to our everyday lives as it is during the 28 days of February.
There's a verse in the Bible that talks about the amazing feats and miracles that Jesus's disciples performed but then it says, "and greater works shall you do..."
Are we committed to greater works? Or just remembering those who were strong before us? Black History is a source of strength for what we are meant to accomplish in the Now time. The ancestors DID their part. They performed their miracles by the grace of God. They put their time in and they turned the world upside down.
So, yes, by all means remember them, recall their resilience and ability to make something out of nothing and their commitment to causes greater than themselves and their fight to right intrinsic wrongs in the fabric of society... but keep that remembrance ever before you. Don't lay it down once this month is over. Take it with you. Call upon it when you want to lay your armor down and remember what you are made of. The ancestors didn't die for one month of inspiration.