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By Akemini E. Ukpong
Last month was designated as a time to reflect on the lives and accomplishments of African-American people. It is wonderful that our society takes out time to acknowledge a people that has both given great sacrifice and tutelage to our country for without which, none of our lives would ever be the same. Therefore, since the contributions that African-Americans have made to our country prove to be so significant, we should take time on our own for this type of reflection throughout the year.
In addition to the awesome talents African-Americans have yielded within the field of music and other forms of entertainment, many have also made weighty contributions in science, through medical breakthroughs, education, through researching, and law, through litigating cases. Although recognition has sometimes been overlooked in these and other areas, the benefits of them cannot be overshadowed.
We still need the traffic light, invented by Garrett Morgan to keep order on the road. We still need the Home Security System, invented by Marie V. Brittan Brown to keep homes safer. We still need the clock, invented by Benjamin Banneker to stay on schedule and accomplish as much as possible in a single day! We all benefit daily from these gains and many others.
Now, as we take time to reflect where we have been, let’s ask ourselves, “…where are we going?” Our ancestors have paved the way for us to live the lives we do today; we didn’t get here by ourselves. There were many sacrifices and tribulations that our ancestors endured for us to exist in the culture in which we live.
And although there is still much road yet to trod, our people have come so far from where we used to be. In coming this far and accomplishing so much by the grace of God, again, we must ask ourselves, “…where are we heading?”
Each day, it is essential that we contemplate these questions in order to maintain a sense of focus and direction in our journey of life. The accomplishments of today can be just as ground-breaking and innovative as those of yesterday if we focus and put our minds to accomplishing the purpose GOD has given each of us.
We all have a contribution to make. What is yours?