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Let Us Teach As We March On!



I recently attended a black history celebration in which a woman on the program was singing Lift Every Voice and Sing. This song is the Black National Anthem. As an African American raised in a predominate black church I'd sing it with congregants during service, as an alum of an HBCU (Historically Black College) we'd sing the anthem at special events and as a member of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) which adopted it as the official song, I'm both humbled and proud to stand up in reverence of my ancestry. The lyrics request for a people to give high praise in continued faith and remembrance to past and present legacies of resilience. Be sure to view the words and related links below.

Yet at this event I was the only one standing. It was a teachable moment as I quickly nudged my eldest daughter to stand with me. I could hear someone whisper, ‘should we be standing?’ I didn’t turn around. I figured someone would tell them or they’d just be compelled, but that didn't happen. So I learned from this experience that I really needed to answer the question heard within my reach. The life lessons and links of information I share are on purpose to spur positive action we can make to help ourselves and our communities. 

More global citizens are learning history and happy to support local actions after learning the importance. They want to know what to do. I believe that is where we find ourselves in 2018.  Since I didn't do it there I do it here in writing to you. Stand with us as we lift every voice and sing in reverence to our great African American History.

If we're standing alone for what we believe then teaching others what we know is necessary for them to stand with us. We need not lead so far ahead as proud in our initiatives that we not stop and turn around to answer the questions being asked of us. We can no longer hold the belief that someone else will teach it for us. Black history is the part of American history that must continuously be taught. We want future generations to stand for what they believe with a rich understanding of history and it's relative importance to the times. Let's all do our best going forward so they not sit out on the lessons which can bring them a great inheritance. This is one way in which we can successfully march on.

Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing – often called “The Black National Anthem” – was written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) and then set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson (1873-1954) in 1899. It was first performed in public in the Johnsons’ hometown of Jacksonville, Florida as part of a celebration of Lincoln’s Birthday on February 12, 1900 by a choir of 500 schoolchildren at the segregated Stanton School, where James Weldon Johnson was principal. -Historical NAACP Milestones, www.naacp.org

Lift Every Voice and Sing

Lyrics:

Lift ev’ry voice and sing,
‘Til earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the list’ning skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on ’til victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
‘Til now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.

Related News
Brooklyn legislators push for mandatory black-history education By Edgar Sandoval and Rich Shapiro of the NY Daily News

Resources



The Association for the Study of African American Life and History established by Dr. Carter G. Woodson in 1915 has a host of information. I recommend you visit each tab on the website at https://asalh.org 



Join Brooklyn NAACP on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 for a screening of the documentary film,
The Rape of Recy Taylor followed by a Q&A with the director of the film Nancy Buirski. 
6:30 PM - General Membership Meeting, 7:00 PM - Film Screening, 8:30 PM - Q&A with the film director Nancy Buirski. 

Click here to read a related article Kidnapped, gang raped by six white men, dumped by the side of the road - then ignored: The real story of Recy Taylor who Oprah paid tribute to in Golden Globes speech a week after her death By Rod Ardehali For Mailonline and Sheila Flynn For Dailymail.com


Have you been to Weeksville Heritage Center yet? They're celebrating 50 Years! Visit today. Weeksville Heritage Center is a multidisciplinary museum dedicated to preserving the history of the 19th century African American community of Weeksville, Brooklyn - one of America’s many free black communities.  158 BUFFALO AVENUE, BROOKLYN, NY, 11213 (718) 756-5250



The Young Black and Giving Back Institute is getting our non profit organizations ready for fundraising season.

We put our heads together with two of the best fundraising professionals this side of Wakanda to develop a half-day fundraising training that will benefit black development professionals and black-serving nonprofits.

If you need guidance crafting your nonprofit's narrative, building and maintaining donor relationships or developing a fundraising strategy, this session is for you! After two-morning training sessions, you will spend the afternoon putting together a fundraising action plan that you can begin to use immediately. Click on their website above for more information.


Did you know that we're living in the International Decade for People of African Decent? 

The UN General Assembly proclaimed 2015-2024 as the International Decade for People of African Descent (resolution 68/237) citing the need to strengthen national, regional and international cooperation in relation to the full enjoyment of economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights by people of African descent, and their full and equal participation in all aspects of society.

As proclaimed by the General Assembly, the theme for the International Decade is “People of African descent: recognition, justice and development.

The main objectives of the International Decade are as follows:

Promote respect, protection and fulfillment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by people of African Descent, as recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
Promote a greater knowledge of and respect for the diverse heritage, culture and contribution of people of African descent to the development of societies;
Adopt and strengthen national, regional and international legal frameworks according to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and to ensure their full and effective implementation.-www.un.org


Volunteer Opportunities



New York Cares

NYC Service  

Repair the World 

If you're a non profit organization of color looking for volunteers for your organization send an email to blessmelanie@gmail.com so your information can be shared.

Till Victory Is Won!

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