My Black is Beautiful

by Terry Watson | February 10th, 2011
Terry Watson - Editor

Terry Watson - Editor

In celebration of Black History Month, I have chosen to use this opportunity to express the significance of being an African American, the pride that I am personally responsible to exhibit, and to also encourage other African Americans to ask themselves the question of what being black means to them. The culture of every ethnic group is what shapes our world. How it is regarded by those of which it defines is equally important.

My Black is beautiful, and for so many reasons. Our history and those who make it are what makes being black an honor. In the month of June in 1933, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed the works of Florence Beatrice Smith Price. Titled “Symphony In E Minor” this piece was later performed at the Chicago World’s Fair as part of the Century of Progress Exhibition. Price was the first African American female composer to have a symphonic composition performed by a major American symphony orchestra.

In this Superbowl this year, for only the third time in the history of the National Football League, an African American straddled the sideline as head coach of one of the participating teams. As great and meaningful as this accomplishment is, the door for Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers was opened by Fritz Pollard who was the very first black NFL coach. Pollard also played in the same league for seven years. Collegiality, he was the first black All American running back, and the first black to play in the Rose Bowl.

There are countless “firsts” by African Americans and our contributions will continue to influence the perception others have of our race. Being black means that we are destined for greatness, but only if we are responsible with our potential, and conscious of the pitfalls that can prevent it. Black is beautiful when it is used for its intended purpose; to impact the lives of others with actions that provoke change. We become elevated when we learn how to persevere through the most unbearable moments.

I am proud of my race and just as excited to experience the celebrations that take place all year long and not just during the month of February. If I don’t believe that my Black is Beautiful, then how can I effectively persuade anyone else to embrace their heritage and respond to its call of empowerment? Happy Black History Month!

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