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A Time to Celebrate

Feb 11, 2009, 2:37 AM

Our friends at the American embassy have lined up a string of events in celebration of black history month. This month is all the more significant this year as Barack Obama is now the President of the United States, the first African American to hold the position. The history of black America is by no means a happy one in many ways but it is a history we ignore at our peril. It is a history of struggle, of overcoming adversity and of the eventual triumph of justice over hatred and injustice.

It is an understatement to dwell on the profound significance of this month in light of the dramatic evolution of the United States of America; and more importantly to African-Americans in recent times.

February is marked annually by Americans in honor of the transformational achievements by distinguished African-Americans in all walks of American life; from Joseph Warren who in 1817 worked full-time as a messenger at the State Department to the recent historical election and remarkable inauguration of the first African- American President of the United States of America, Barack H. Obama.

In honor of this month, mindful of the sacrifices made by those celebrated African-Americans and the values embedded in those sacred principles that continue to guide America, we must all join together with our American brothers and sisters to celebrate and mark this important month. The history of America as a nation is a history which is inextricably interwoven with the history of black America. It is a month where we as Africans should be proud of the role that our forefathers played in the formation of the United States and of the great sacrifices they made in doing so. That great nation was built on their labour and now we must come together regardless of colour to celebrate their immense contribution to the formation of the great nation that is America.

"The United States is the glory, jest, and terror of mankind."

James M. Minifie