The celebration of 2018 Black History month under an increasingly hard-line stance on immigration calls for global concern and prayers. President Donald Trump of America has announced he is going to terminate the right to citizenship of babies born on US soil to non-citizen just as Brexit outcome is beclouded with uncertainty.
Black History Month is marked annually in October and was first celebrated in United Kingdom in 1987. It is usually a time to celebrate, recognise and value the inspirational individuals and events from within our communities. During Black History Month, we remember and celebrate the important people from the past and those who contribute and help our society today. By highlighting their testimonies, we are able to thank God for the vital role those individuals have played for a more equal and progressive society. Black History Month is a call to celebrate the vital contribution of generations of black and minority ethnic communities to Britain’s culture, economy, politics, sport, health service and more. In doing so, we help to inspire young people of every background to know that they can do anything in God’s name, and be anything, they set their mind to.
As we remember the invaluable work of so many black and minority ethnic men and women, who have fought discrimination, it is also a divine opportunity to pray for Open Heaven upon the Black race (African, Arab, Asian and Caribbean). We remember and celebrate Sislin Fay Allen, Britain’s first black police woman John Kent, the first black police officer – 1837. Diane Abbott – the first black woman to be elected to the House of Common. Bishop Wilfred Wood, The Church of England’s first black bishop. Joe Clough, the first black bus driver. James Peter, first black Rugby player. Winifred Atwell, the first black artist. Mary Seacole, the pioneering nurse who overcame prejudice in order to go and treat sick and wounded soldiers in the Crimean war. Dr John Anthony Robert QC, first known person of African ancestry to be the Head of his Chambers in England. Andrew Watson, first black British International footballer.
This month also presents us a good opportunity to appreciate all human vessels God is using to encourage, develop, empower, recognise and celebrate many back and minority ethnic men and women. We remember those loving lecturers in our schools, colleges, universities and other workplaces, churches and political leaders like Commons Speaker John Bercow who after the retirement of Commons Chaplain Canon Robert Wright chose the Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin as Chaplain to the House of Commons. We appreciate churches, especially Methodist Church in Britain for encouraging and promoting among others, minority national fellowships for renewal and integration within the church.
Beloved, Black History Month is not just about learning from the past, it also a time to unite and unlock tomorrow’s opportunities, dreams, and potentials in prayers and praises. Over generations, ‘we have built something extraordinary in Britain – where people can come with nothing and in one or two generations can rise as high as their talent allows.’ The black community embodies that spirit. Black History month embodies hope and renewal in soul, Spirit, and body. Black History month is a source of Vision, Faith, Understanding, and Hope in relation to what God has done for others and what He is able to do for us and with us even today.
Let us pray that God will unite us to build a world where no other man or woman will scorn; where greed no longer saps the soul; a world where black or white will worship God in Truth and Spirit, and share the bounties of the earth in anticipation of Jesus’ Second Coming. O Lord, in Your mercy, renew and revive us in Jesus’ name.