By Steve Kemgang • Knowledge is Power • February 24, 2023 •

Every year, Black History month presents an opportunity to reflect on the legacies that have impacted the world we live in today. In August 3, 1857, Frederick Douglas gave a speech in New York on the struggle toward freedom where he mentioned “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”

Despite the many obstacles they faced, we live in a better society due to the courage of Malcolm X, Ruby Bridges, Martin Luther King Jr., and others. Though there is still more work to do in the fight for equality and justice in America, we stand on the shoulders of giants. Their heroic stories and esteemed legacies give us hope and inspire us to never give up in our pursuit toward making an impact.

Outside of learning Black History from my parents and other family members, my teachers were also instrumental figures throughout my childhood and teenage years. Two who left lasting impressions were from my third and seventh grade years. Their lessons not only covered the figures known all around the world today, but also amplified the roles other individuals played around them.

One such individual was Alberta King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s mom, who was an activist in the Civil Rights movement and profoundly influenced and counseled him from childhood throughout his adult life. Her tenacity and steadfast devotion in the face of adversity positively impacted the world forever.

Remembering these stories encourages us and gives us hope to continue standing for what is right and advocating for a more equitable future. Although there are challenges ahead, we are facing them from a position of strength and solidarity.

[©2023, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the February 24, 2023, edition of Knowledge is Power by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]