Celebrating Black History Month: Black Iowa News invited Black Iowans to share their feelings about the importance of teaching Black history, voting rights and more — in their own words. Here's the next installment from Lori Young, who is self-employed and on assignment as communications and operations director for Just Voices Iowa, a nonprofit organization fighting racially-biased policing. The self-described "devoted community servant" has spent 15 years as an activist, advocate and community organizer, fighting for racial, environmental and economic justice.
Check back tomorrow for the next installment. Have a point of view to share for Black History Month? Learn more below.
Black History is America's History
Lori Young, communications and operations director for Just Voices Iowa, Des Moines
Lori Young. Photo courtesy of Young.
Black history is America's history. And June 19th is America's real Independence Day.
When I think of all the things Blacks have endured in America, I am inspired.
For those who are descendants of Africans, born into slavery in these United States, one word comes to mind: resilience. My mind and heart are flooded with the remembrance of our history and our legacy of greatness and strength.
Our unimaginable durability. Strong survivors of violence and captivity. And yet we are able to possess grace, dignity, and love, in spite of. And so, we march on, fight on, speak truth and seek justice in our city, in Iowa, and across this land.
"The most common way people give up power is by thinking they don't have any." — Alice Walker.
But we do have power and as for me, I'm not tired yet. I walk with God who has kept us thus far.
Read: Black History Month reflections by Black Iowans
- Top Black Iowa Democrats: 'Black history is Iowa's history'
- Black Iowa parent: Teaching history without Black culture is 'reminder of how systemic racism continues' its cycle
- Black Iowa activist, TEDx speaker: 'Survival is our cultural ethos'
- Black Iowa professor, musician: 'If it were left up to my schools, I would have never learned the truth of my history'
- Black Iowa lawmaker slams Black History Month tributes at the state Capitol by those seeking 'to block Black History being taught'
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Share your opinion with Black Iowa News
To celebrate Black History Month, Black Iowa News will publish short original quotes from Black Iowans on the topics of Black history and voting rights. Email your quote, city, short bio and photo to Dana James, founder of Black Iowa News: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Banner: Black History Month art by Christopher Harrison, of Harrison Art Studio.
Learn about Carter G. Woodson and the origins of Black History Month.