February is Black History Month, and its observance isn't without controversy.
Some question why we need a month that sets one group of Americans apart from the others, and they see it as yet another example of political correctness run amok.
Others believe that the history of blacks in America beyond the story of slavery, Jim Crow and the civil rights movement is given short shrift, and needs separation from the rest of American history in order to be given its due.
My feet are firmly in both camps. Black history is also American history, and our blood, toil, tears and sweat are intermingled with those of our Native American and immigrant brothers and sisters. However we came to be together, we are here by the grace of God, and we are all invested in what this land was, is and is yet to become.
I also believe, however, that black history focuses too much on our victimhood and not nearly enough on our victories.
I have spent a lot of time recently reacquainting myself with the great black leaders of American history, and I am struck by how courageous and accomplished they were despite being born and raised as slaves, denied formal education, and widely and openly declared as lesser beings by American society at large.
These men and woman faced injustices and brutality we can only imagine today, yet they knew who they were, they knew what they had to do, and they achieved greatness in spite of their circumstances. They were giants, and they make today's self-appointed black leaders seem superficial and small in comparison.
I intend to devote my articles this month to the topic of blacks in America, but from the following premise: Our heritage is greater than what we have become. We are not children; we are not complainers. We are champions, and the time has come for us to reclaim our heritage from those, black and white, who would diminish it for political gain.