In 1976, 200 years after the United States of America declared independence from Great Britain, then-President Gerald Ford officially recognized February as Black History Month (BHM) across the U.S. The fact that such a milestone in African American history happened only 50 years ago wasn’t lost on the young women who planned, practiced, and then performed at St. Saviour High School’s annual BHM assembly on Feb. 17.
The death of Hollywood luminary Sidney Poitier in January reminded Americans of his important and inspiring legacies, including the first leading-performer Oscar bestowed on a black person and the 1963 film tied to that victory. “Lilies of the Field” explored the country’s weakness and goodness in a parable-like drama.
Students came to school at St. Catherine of Genoa-St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Academy dressed as the late, great poet/ author Maya Angelou as part of a Black History Month celebration on Friday, Feb. 11.
Flanked at the front of the sanctuary by six large portraits of Black Americans whose faith-filled lives placed them on the road to possible canonization by the Catholic Church, Washington Auxiliary Bishop Roy E. Campbell Jr. celebrated Mass Feb. 6 to mark Black History Month in the Archdiocese of Washington.
The Black History Month Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Martin De Porres parish was joyous, featuring Gospel music and an impassioned homily that elicited shouts of “Amen!” from the congregation. But throughout the event, there was an undercurrent of uneasiness about the current state of race relations in the U.S.