The first year I was teaching, February represented a few things: Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ Day, and Black History Month—all things I was required to teach my students.
Unfortunately, Black History Month was just something I checked off my list: “Science, check;” “Addition, check;” “Black History Month, check.”
But after only a few lessons, I realized how this celebration affected my African-American students. They loved school, but this? This was for them. So I began teaching for them, to them. “This is a huge part of their story,” I thought, “I really need to focus on them.”
Then I was struck with the realization: this wasn’t just about them. This was the story of my entire class, a part of all our history. It mattered that I teach it to all my students. And so, Black History Month became a celebration for all of us, of life, hope, and triumph.
I am no longer in the classroom. I traded in my gradebook for a burp rag last year. I am still a teacher, but now my only student is my sweet baby girl. As I think about her future, and the things we have to learn together, I know that an understanding of this month will be one of them.
Now, in writing this, I have been struck with an even greater depth of Black History Month. It’s not just a celebration for one people. Even more, it is a call for absolute worship of the Father. Only He is capable of transforming hearts from hatred and cruelty to acceptance and love. Only He can bring about a change in mindset and lifestyle. Only He allows us the grace to live in a world that is filled with people who are uniquely and perfectly designed.
I regret that I never fully grasped the depths of that lesson to teach my students. I hope it might be one the Lord teaches them as they grow older. But the prayer of my heart is that it might be a lesson I teach deeply and passionately for my baby girl every single day, not just the month of February.
I told you it was good :) I hope to have a few more Black History Month posts in the coming weeks, so check back.