Happy Black History Month

When I opened Google on February 1, 2017, to my delight, Google wished me ‘Happy Black History Month’ highlighting Edmonia Lewis, an African-Native American sculptor born in New York on Independence Day 1844.  On February 1, 2018, Google highlighted Carter G. Woodson, an Black American writer and historian considered the “Father of Black History.”

Go out and learn more about your history.  Lots of times we discuss the great Black Americans who built this country and helped our community begin to grow and thrive.  Now I want you to learn your history.  Who are your parents?  Who are your grandparents?  Where do you come from?  These are my children.  I want them to know where they come, who they are, what great people came in our family before them.

IMG_1099.jpg

Our children need to know and learn who the great famous Black women and men in world history.  That is very important.  But just as important is for them to know and learn who the great Black women and men in our family histories are.  Make it a part of our Black History activities.  Talk with your ancestors and learn about your family.  That’s what I plan to do.

This month, I have decided to dedicate time to learning my family history and hope that you may do the same.  Make Black History Month GREAT again!!!

 

What is Halloween?

what is halloween

During a time between autumn and winter, harvest and disposal, life and death, we celebrate Halloween with costumes and superstitions.  Halloween is one of the oldest holidays celebrated today with its origins in the 2,000 year old Celtic tradition of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).  Samhain was a celebration held on the night before their new year, November 1, characterized with bonfires, costumes, and fortune-telling. As the Celts became more influenced by Christian mores after being conquered by the Roman Empire and with the influence of Pope Boniface and Pope Gregory III, Halloween came to be celebrated on the eve of All Saints Day or All-Hallowmas, incorporating many of the traditions of Samhain and two Roman Empire traditions of Feralia – a Roman Empire custom marking the passing of the dead, and a celebration honoring Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruits and trees whose symbol is an apple.  So, that’s where the tradition of “bobbing for apples” was derived.bobbing for apples2

Over time, Halloween became a more secular and community-based observance.  With the first immigrants to America, Halloween was celebrated primarily in southern states, of which Maryland is included, due to the strict Protestant principles in colonial New England.  However, as the Irish fled from the great potato famine of 1846, Halloween became more popular blending Irish and English customs with Native American influences.  Overtime, the ritual of Halloween dropped most of its religious and superstitious traits, and it became a national holiday in the early 20th century in America. 

halloween bonfireToday, the American tradition of “trick-or-treating” and dressing in costumes have become a way of life dating back to the holiday’s Celtic, Irish and English origins.  While the holiday has been plagued with vandalism and negative connotations over the years, Halloween relied on the good will of spirits traditionally; now it relies on the “good-will” of parents and community leaders for children to have fun. So as the days get shorter, the weather grows chilly and winter begins, people around the world celebrate with parties, costumes, and sweet treats!

happy halloweenHappy Halloween!! Make it Great!