Black History in the Making

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Black History in the Making

By Rich Luna | Feb 1, 2021

When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?

I remember back in high school when we were assigned to write a report for Black History Month and I profiled Hank Aaron, then on the cusp of breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record.

My teacher asked why I chose to write about Aaron. In addition to being a baseball fan, I was more intrigued by the manner in which he held himself up in the face of death threats, racist taunts and hate mail. He would break Ruth’s record and go one to be a great ambassador for the game and for racial equality.

And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us,
but what stands before us.

I was blessed to have interviewed him when I became a sportswriter and later in my career talked to him at a conference where I secured an autographed baseball—still a treasured keepsake.

I reflected on “Hammerin’ Hank” again after hearing of his death last month, and as Black History Month is again upon us. I wonder what he must have been thinking, politics aside, seeing Senator Kamala Harris, the first Black, first Asian and first woman to be elected vice president of the United States. Or listening to the powerful oratory, “The Hill We Climb,” delivered by 22-year-old Amanda Gorman, the first person named National Youth Poet Laureate, during the presidential inauguration (and whose words I share in my editor’s letter).

We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside.

My 16-year-old daughter Abby came home from school that day and could not stop talking about Gorman’s poem. She told me there was a break between classes when Gorman was speaking and students had the option of moving along, but that no one did. They all stayed to watch Gorman finish her poem.

This was Black history in the making, a time when we witnessed examples of shining lights on Black culture and achievements, a time to hopefully set aside division and turmoil and seek the strength, courage and wisdom to come together.

We will not march back to what was,
but move to what shall be.

Let us celebrate Black History Month with purpose, with commitment to acknowledge all that is good in our community, to right the wrongs and set ourselves on a path forward as a community. Let’s also strive to celebrate beyond the month of February. If we relegate the story to just one month, we are missing the point. These are conversations we must have every day.      

For there is always light,
if only we're brave enough to see it.
If only we're brave enough to be it.

Until next time…

Rich Luna
Editor in Chief



Rich Luna

Rich Luna is Director of Publishing for MPI and Editor-in-chief of The Meeting Professional.