Let’s do our part in recording our History correctly
“Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.” Deuteronomy 4:9 (NASB)
By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.
As we step into the presence of our glorious past through our recorded histories, we should make sure that it is the correct recorded History.
I raise this point for several reasons, but mainly so we don’t perpetuate the mistruths that seem to have become customary and so readily adopted by us-for whatever reason, i.e. convenience, apathy or shame.
This misrepresentation of the truth has led to the miseducation of the Negro; in all its aspects.
From the ratification that has allowed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life to be regulated to the circumference of a city block in what has morphed from a lifetime Dream to a nightmare.
Our Black History is so diverse that it has been embedded in us with whips and chains held in the hands of those who capitalized on the slave trade and who fathered many of our ancestors.
Our History did not just wash up on the shores of America. Our souls, like stars, sparkle against the backdrops of coastlines of every continent and can be seen glistening in every wave that breaks against the shores.
“We are family”- outcasts to some, welcomed by a few despised my most and yet we are still here.
The improper chronicling of our History by anyone is unacceptable and yet we allow it to be accepted as “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”
We must be mindful that our History is much more valuable when it is the truth, well documented.
I had the pleasure of collecting some History from three of our Trailblazers – Ms. Lillian Smalls, Ms. Mary Rizer and Mr. Beauregard Cummings here in Fort Lauderdale.
The need to capture moments from our elders is invaluable.
They shed some light on the renaming of the “Black Beach” (John U. Lloyd Beach State Park) in Dania, Fla. after Mr. Von D. Mizell and Ms. Eula Johnson that may settle any confusion that might keep a bitter dispute from disrupting the harmony of our community.
Both of these heroes were engaged in the fight to desegregate the beaches in Fort Lauderdale. So rightfully the renaming should bare both of their names.
The order in which the names should appear on the marker/monument, to which they all agreed to, was to base it upon the order in which they led the fight.
Since Mr. Mizell started the fight in 1954 and Ms. Johnson continued and completed it in 1961, Mr. Mizell’s name should be first and Ms. Johnson’s second.
This conversation could lend itself to the opening of conversations to address some of the misreported account to our History.
So, Senator Chris Smith, before your Bill is passed, PLEASE have some dialogue with others who were here during that time while you still can.
Our History is much too valuable to be misrepresented and passed on with falsehoods.
Let’s begin Black History Month with a truthful account to our part of America and the world’s great History; believe it or not accurate Black History matters.
“Remember the days of old, Consider the years of all generations. Ask your father, and he will inform you, Your elders, and they will tell you…” Deuteronomy 32:7 (NASB)