Today is the start of Black History Month. Like most folks, I kicked off my celebration of blackness two weeks ago with the observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 15, 2018. In my newest column for California Crusader News, I talk about keeping hope alive in the era of Trump. After all, America is constantly evolving.
I spent MLK Day attending the Men of Courage forum, sponsored by the Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. Launched in Detroit in 2015, the Men of Courage program is dedicated to elevating the narrative and perceptions of black men in this country.
The program connects the men with Men of Courage ambassadors, like social advocates, business leaders, entrepreneurs and other influencers. For LA’s forum, they pulled out the big guns with Grammy-nominated rapper Big Sean, retired NFL Hall of Famer, Jerome Bettis of the LA Rams/St. Louis Rams and Pittsburg Steelers; Dave Bing, retired NBA Hall of Famer and former mayor of Detroit; and Karim Webb, restaurateur and franchise owner of Buffalo Wild Wings – just to name a few.
After the program, I headed off to the NAACP Image Awards afterparty where I bumped into Congresswoman Maxine Waters and (D-CA) and writer Lena Waithe, the first African American woman to win an Emmy for writing. (That’s a Black History Month fact!)
Both MLK Day and Black History Month is a time of great reflection, honoring the human sacrifices made by others in the fight for racial equality and social change. The struggle is real and constant. But, like Jay-Z rapped, “I do this for my culture!”
I hope you enjoy my column, “Keep Hope Alive.” which appeared in the January 25, 2018 issue of the California Crusader News. CCN#4_Jan_25_2018
Correction: Just to clarify, the Ford Motor Company Fund is the proud sponsor of the Men of Courage program, and not the Ford Motor Fund Foundation as listed in my column or the Ford Motor Company Foundation.
Here’s a Black History fact:
Lena Waithe became the first African American woman to win an Emmy for writing. You can see her award-winning work on Netflix’s comedy series, “Master of None.” Check out the Emmy-winning episode, “Thanksgiving” from Season 2. Plus, she’s the creator and executive producer of the new series, “The Chi” on Showtime.