I know it’s halfway through the month, but I’ve been oddly absent from my blog lately. All the things I want to write about are unformed or too hot-button or my thoughts fizzle out before I can successfully conclude a post. Therefore, I offer you a simple post: an admonition to spend a little time honoring the incredible contributions African-Americans have made to our national history by learning something new. And don’t give me that excuse, “Well, I just don’t think one minority group get a whole month of focus, so I’m not going to give in to political correctness and observe it at all!” Frankly, I find that attitude snotty, self-righteous, and a bit prejudiced. You may feel an entire month’s focus is unwarranted; don’t let that keep you from discovering what decades of segregation and biased history curricula left out of the education system. As I told one student today, I figure a month’s focus on the achievements of African-Americans is but little we can do to make up for 200+ years of slavery and for 100 years of maltreatment and abuse. Take a few minutes to discover one new person, one previously unknown journey, one door of knowledge. Take a few minutes to recognize that no one today can truly empathize with the struggles of blacks before the Civil Rights Act. Take a few minutes to understand why it’s important to go that extra step, to make that extra bit of eye contact, to say “Sir” and “Ma’am.” It will be a worthwhile few minutes, I promise you.

Some resources (articles, photo galleries, and interactive media) you may enjoy:
The History Channel
The History Makers
The Census Bureau
The Smithsonian