It's not very often that a story smacks me on the side of the head with a message. I was asked this February to profile four people in the Brazos Valley African American community for Black History Month. I had phone numbers, a few notes on who each person was, and a deadline.
Profiles are funny it that way. You don't know much about a person until you meet them. I approached these stories with an open mind and open heart.
Here's what I learned:
Annie Williams taught me that our seniors are the best link to our past.
Lance Jackson taught me that the key to our future lies with our children.
Pastor Jacqui King taught me that black history isn't a separate history, just one that hasn't been told.
Pastor Sam Hill taught me that history is the stories we tell to each other.
All four of these stories have a central theme; history. That was no conscious decision on my part. I think it speaks to how universal our past is.
Pastor Hill puts it this way:
Anything that happens in the past.
How one perceives what happens is perspective.
Only what's passed on is history.
The stories we tell each other define not only us, but our community.
I'm lucky enough to have a profession that lets me hear so many stories. Some good, some bad. Regardless, these stories are what defines us.
So, let's tell the story of our community. What will our history be? What stories will we tell one another? What will fall out of our history?
Let's tell our story together.