It seems fitting that as we celebrate Black History Month, a new and shining star has appeared. This being twenty-two year old Amanda Gorman, who with such confidence and grace recited her poem, The Hill we Climb, this at the recent inauguration of Joseph R. Biden Jr. 46th president of the United States,
Amanda, the nation’s youth poet laureate, and activist, wrote this poem as she watched the chaos unfold at the Capitol building in Washington DC. January 6th, just days before the inauguration.
As a young girl descended from slavery and raised by a single mother, with dreams of one day becoming president, in her poem Amada envisions a country that ‘ puts differences aside, ‘a country of all cultures and colors, ‘seeking harm to none and harmony for all.’
As she bravely and with strong conviction delivered her poem, she inspired not only those attending the inauguration, but also those watching around the world. Such words of wisdom for all to hear and to learn from. She challenges others to actions with the following words “If we merge mercy with might and might with right, then love will become our legacy and change our children’s birthright.”
As one bright star appears, another has passed. But not without leaving a legacy that not only he could be proud of, but also his family and all those he knew him, fans included.
Hank Aaron died Friday January 22nd , at the age of eighty- six. Affectionately known as ‘Hammerin’ Hank, during his 23 years years in baseball, most of it spent with the Atlanta Braves, he made history when he broke Babe Ruth’s record of home runs when he batted his 755 th home run, thereby having his name being added to the Sport’s Hall of Fame. Although his record was broken by Barry Bonds who batted one more home run than he had, Hank is still considered by many as the King since Bonds was thought to have been using steroids at the time. None-the-less, Hank send him a note of congratulations, never questioning the ruling.
Always humble, Hank never forgot his roots. Brought up in poverty in Atlanta, he quite school at the age of 18 as his ability at baseball was being recognized. Recently, when interviewed and was asked the question, “How would you like to be remembered,?” He replied simply, “That I was a good man.”
Hank was a man of character and because of his color received hate mail and threats. When he was coming close to overcoming Babe Ruth’s number of home runs, he was called ‘nigger’ and worse. He knew the bite of discrimination throughout his career, but stood tall and unafraid without retaliating. Standing as he did for what is right and true, in his own way he helped the advancement of the Civil Rights Movement.
During Black History Month, let us remember and celebrate those people of color who, despite all kinds of adversity have accomplished great things, and have risen above hate and racism in an attempt to show the world the way for a more equitable and happier place for all.