A Required Course

A Required Course
February 1, 2016 Prosperity Connection

As an avid learner and student, I’ve always appreciated my family for their insistence and love for education.  This same love has flowed down and found its way into my heart and my daily pursuit.  I love learning!  One thing I always say is that ‘I’ll be a student, forever.’  And I honestly believe that we all are, even if we don’t always see it that way.  With today being the first day of Black History Month in these United States, I am grateful that Black History is not and was never an elective but a required course in my household.

Some would argue that it has become easy to limit Black History to only a few key individuals that are most often referred to during this time of year.  I love these individuals and what they stand for, but while it is imperative to highlight the impact of persons like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcom X, Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Harriet Tubman, and the list continues, I believe we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to the countless others who have contributed to black history… to my history.  People like (but definitely not limited to) Claudette Colvin, Esther Jones, Bessie Coleman, Alex Haley, Althea Gibson, Joe Louis, Medgar Evers, Sojourner Truth, Stokely Carmichael, Thurgood Marshall, Huey P. Newton, Paul Williams, and W.E.B. Du Bois should be revered throughout the entirety of each and every calendar year.  Furthermore, we should embrace and celebrate the Black History that has been and is being made in this day and age.  To name a few, President Barak Obama, Venus and Serena Williams, Usain Bolt, and Stephen Stafford II (the 13 year old prodigy at Morehouse College) serve as examples of what history and history-in-the-making looks like.

I am blessed enough to see black history . . . or history within itself each and every day.  Not only do I see it within my own household and family, I see history being made within my community.  History is the single parent who opens up a child savings account for their child.  History is the grandfather who goes back to college to complete his bachelors and motivates his grandchildren to do the same.  History is not having a secret savings account and talking to your spouse openly and honestly about your household finances.  History is taking the first step.  History is love exercised.  I’m blessed to see it as an educator, as a financial coach, as a husband, a son, and as a man.

I remember someone once saying that if you want to learn Black History, you have to research on your own.  So, today, I encourage you to take some time and do some research.  As my fraternal motto states, we have to ‘build a tradition, not rest upon one.’  So I encourage you to be the history you want to see and let’s continue to make history together.  Remember, black history (and your history) should be a required course.

By Jaison K.D. McCall, Financial Education Manager, Prosperity Connection