Having been a teacher for many years, in several different counties of Florida, USA, I was privileged to teach children of all races. Each year in February, we recognized Black History Month. I was determined that my students would know that people had suffered greatly in the past, but TODAY WAS A NEW DAY OF OPPORTUNITY. ALL CHILDREN can become what they are determined to be with hard work and perseverance.
On PRESIDENT’S DAY and BLACK HISTORY MONTH, we should remember the words of our President Abraham Lincoln, who was the author of the EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION, signed by him as an Executive Order on September 22, 1862. (During the American Civil War, enslaved people in the Confederate States of America declared “free”)
“Let us at all times remember that all American citizens are brothers of a common country, and should dwell together in the bonds of fraternal feeling.” — Abraham Lincoln, Springfield, Illinois, remarks Nov. 20, 1860
Just this year, a long time after my retirement as an educator, I received an email from Find a Grave. I had used their website when writing my book on our family history that reached back to the Civil War. A story and picture was given by “EOB”, a contributor on Find a Grave, about a black man who accomplished more than would ever had been expected of him.
It is my prayer that someone reading this will be challenged to reach toward the future; do the best that he or she can do; don’t listen to those who are negative…and be what you can be!
|Born 13 Oct 1825 Salem, Salem County, New Jersey, USA|
|Died 3 Dec 1866 (aged 41)Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA|
|Buried at Woodlawn Cemetery Everett, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA|
- Here is John Stewart Rock’s story:
- Abolitionist, social activist. Born to free, but poor, African-American parents in Salem, New Jersey, he became one of the nineteenth’s century’s great racial equality activists.
- Known for his brilliance and perseverance he had become a teacher, doctor and dentist all by the age of twenty-seven.
- While attending medical school in Philadelphia he gained a reputation for his dynamic speeches given on behalf of abolitionist causes.
- In 1853 he moved to Boston where he continued to be active in the anti-slavery and temperance movements.
- He used his medical skills to offer free health care services to fugitive slaves and his speaking skills to promote the freedom of the black race.
- In 1859, poor health forced him to give up his medical and dental practices, so he began to study law. Two years later he passed the bar exam and opened up his own practice. During the Civil War the attorney persuaded the Massachusetts legislature to form a black military company and he recruited soldiers for the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. However, his greatest achievement came in 1865, when he became the first African-American lawyer to be received on the floor of the US House of Representatives and the first black attorney to be admitted to practice law before the US Supreme Court. He continued his pursuit of racial equality until 1866 when he suddenly died at the age of forty-one.
If every young person today can keep looking forward and HOLD ON to the good things that hard work and perseverance brings…our world will be a good place for all people. There can be no looking back.
Enjoy this beautiful music by three excellent singers as they sing a spiritual with a modern lesson.
Turn up your sound.
February 21, 2022 | Categories: Christianity, Community, Encouragement, Finding God's Direction, For the Soul, FREEDOM, History, Important to know, Inspirational, Life's Difficulties, Making a Difference, Over-coming Life's Problems, Stories of Courage | Tags: Abolitionist, African American, Black History Month, History, Joh Stewart Rock, Massachusetts, New Jersey, opportunity, Presidents Day, racial equality, social activist, US House of Representatives, US Supreme Court | Comments Off on BE what YOU DETERMINE to BE