Left in the Shadows

Every February during Black History Month we as a community only hear about the same people who have made a change in African American history. Today I challenge you to keep reading, to expand beyond what they teach in schools. Get hip the unknown who have with no doubt made a difference in African American history.

David Walker was an abolitionist during the times of slavery. Walker spoke out against the oppression his people faced as a community at the hands of white society. He wrote an appeal that included a preamble with four articles that were very controversial at the time it was published. While reading this I came to understand that even during times of slavery, where Blacks could easily be killed for no reason, this Black man said things out of his mouth that could have had him lynched.

In school, they never teach about the people who were not afraid to speak out during the times of slavery; instead, they lead students to believe that Black people were passive in the fight for our freedom. While reading Walker's appeal I could see clearly that he was trying to rally African Americans together so that, we could enforce change. Walker believed that if we came together, we could put an end to the oppression that has gone on for centuries.

During the 1970s, a movement called The Black Consciousness movement was officially started, but it truly started long before. Walker spoke about being proud of his blackness. He tells his readers that they should stand in their blackness because, at the end of the day, God created us in his image. Walker was trying to create a better future for a whole community, but he knew that he could not do it alone. He knew that Black people would have to come together and support each other. He knew that they would need to be able to lift each other up because it seemed that all the world ever wanted to do was bring Black people down. Walker was brave enough to give his people the steps to freedom within his pamphlet, and that is true love. To be willing to put your own life in danger, to ensure that your brothers and sisters are one day free is beyond selfless.

I was truly amazed at the lengths he was willing to go to be free of his oppressors because in today's time I feel the fight is gone. I believe the newer generations are more passive in their journey to true freedom, but I blame it on the fact that white society has hidden and denied the greatness of Black people for far too long. There are a lot of things that could be taken from the things said above but the most important would be to never give up because if David Walker did where would we be today?