A History teacher once said, those who do not remember their History are doomed to repeat it.
Over a month ago we celebrated Martin Luther King Day. A day to recall some of the events that have help shape this great nation.
I remembered something Dr King said in one of his speeches that relates to midnight December 31 of each year, New Year's Eve.
There's a tradition among Black Americans that dates back to 1862. A tradition that is still celebrated primarily among blacks although the particulars may vary from State to State.
Originally called "Freedom's Eve" we know it today as "Watchnight" or "Watchnight Services"
At a pivotal point in the American Civil War the then President Abraham Lincoln set forth a proclamation to free the Southern Confederate Slaves. (There were already some free Blacks north of the Mason Dixie line.)
The news of this was circulated among the slaves, north and south, that President Lincoln would sign the Emancipation Proclamation. On December 31, 1862, Black slaves gathered in homes and churches to await the news that President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
At the stroke of midnight all Confederate slaves were declared free. Hearing the news they prayed and thanked God for their salvation.
This celebration still continues after more than a century and has evolved into a religious service in many Black denominational churches.
Having celebrated Martin Luther King Day, we paused to look back and appreciate where we have come from as a Nation. Hopefully, we will not now drift into polarized camps that separates.
When we consider the many conflicts globally and the Anti-American sentiment among some at home and abroad, we need "right now" togetherness.
We must find ways to embrace and accentuate the good in and among us; to accord to others the same consideration we reserve for ourselves.
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