This Black History Month has been tricky. On February 1, 2012, we received news that Don Cornelius had committed suicide. Cornelius was the founder and pioneer of Soul Train, a show that captured the spirit of African Americans through fashion, song, and dance.
Ten days later our heart was indefinitely broken when we heard the news that our beloved Whitney Houston had tragically passed away. Although most of us didn’t know Whitney personally, it felt like she was our Aunty. We were all rooting for her to make a major comeback and prove her critics wrong. We believed in her.
After Whitney passed away, it seemed like African Americans on all social networks had officially considered this the worst Black History Month ever. However, something spectacular happened in my neck of the woods.
A few months ago I interviewed Pastor Corey Brooks. He vowed to sleep in a tent on top of an old motel until enough money was raised to purchase the building. Brooks vision is to develop the old motel into a community center. Pastor Brooks was faithful to stay on top of the motel until the money was raised. He missed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, his son’s basketball games, and more. He only came off the roof twice, in order to preach the funeral’s of two young men who were murdered by gun violence.
On Day 94 on top of the roof, Brooks received a phone call from Tyler Perry. Mr. Perry gave Brooks the final balance of $98,000 that was needed for the building. Tyler Perry did a good deed, which enabled Brooks to come off the roof after 94 days. Now a community center can be built, which will have programs and resources, that will hopefully cause the youth to make better decisions.
In retrospect, this hasn’t been the worst Black History Month Ever. This month is a reflection of Black History. Us as a people have endured trials, tribulations, discrimination, etc., but we still have hope. We continue to dream and strive for better days. With the help of Tyler Perry better days are coming to the city of Chicago, and who knows, this community center may plant the very seeds that produce the next Don Cornelius and Whitney Houston. You never know.
Happy Black History month y’all.