Magazine article Black Enterprise

Crowning Moments: Celebrating Our Achievements, Both Past and Present

Magazine article Black Enterprise

Crowning Moments: Celebrating Our Achievements, Both Past and Present

Article excerpt

"We are a black gold mine, and the key that unlocks the door to these vast riches is the knowledge of who we are--I mean, Who we really are.

--Tony Brown What Mama Taught Me: Seven Core Values of Life

Every year, when Black History Month swings around, eyes roll all across America. And they're not blue eyes, necessarily. Some are our eyes.

We bemoan that we've been assigned the shortest month of the year. We carp about how, for four weeks, America acknowledges our contributions while spending the rest of the year trying to keep us down.

But if Black History, our history, has shown us anything, it is that we can't be held down--not chained, tied, or pinned. As Maya Angelou said, we rise again and again and again. In truth, the primary thing keeping us down is our lack of knowledge about ourselves.

So let's fix that--starting now. Celebrate this month in the most meaningful way possible, by committing to learning something new about our history.

For instance, did you know that Elijah McCoy patented a mechanical lubricator for steam engines in 1872, vastly improving train safety and reducing the wear and tear of friction on all types of industrial machinery? Railroad workers were so impressed with his invention that they dubbed it "The Real McCoy," the standard to which 'all competitors were held.

Lewis Latimer, the son of runaway slaves, became an electrical engineer and invented an inexpensive process for making light bulb filaments. …

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