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The Importance of Black History Month

By Rev. James Trapp
Senior Minister, Spiritual Life Center, Sacramento, California

If you take time to sincerely hear and know another person’s story, particularly if it’s someone you feel separate from or have been taught to tolerate, something powerful can happen. You can move beyond toleration to appreciation and even perhaps have a love for those people.

Nearly everyone has known hardship and setbacks in life, just as we have all experienced joy in this journey of life. When you know their story, the sense of separation begins to fall away. African Americans have a myriad of stories to tell about their lives and their history, and their stories are interconnected with the greatest story of all humanity—and that is, we are all one.

This is why Black History Month is important. The stories that describe the lives and the history of African Americans can help remind us that despite the appearance of separate bodies, individual personalities, and different pursuits, we are one humanity, each with a unique contribution to make to the human race.

When all the stories of the different expressions of humanity are told, we’ll not just see color, but we will see different shades and expressions of the infinite presence of the universe, or what we call God, revealing itself. We’ll not just see separate cultures; we’ll see the many variations of how Spirit needs all of the cultures and races to reveal its infinite nature.