Today is February 1 and we all know that February brings with it heart shaped candies, cupid, cards of sweet sentiments for those we love and candlelight dinners with our significant others (or perhaps with our close and dear friends). It’s the month of love – and some say it is what makes the world go around.
|Diversity also makes the world go round|
And speaking of the concern for the good of another, February is also Black History Month. It is an annual observance in Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States during the month of February. The concept originally began by Carter G. Woodson. Woodson was the second black American who received his Ph.D. in history from Harvard. He created Negro History Week in Washington, D.C., in February 1926 to remember important people and events that played vital and contributing roles to history that were originally left out of the history books.
As a result of Woodson’s efforts, I was taught a more diverse and thorough history (well, perhaps I should clarify that I received more historical data than was available in 1926). The fact is, being exposed to African-American past narratives helped to develop in me a concern for the wellbeing of others and has facilitated an awareness of how diversity plays a role in our lives for the betterment of self and society.
Did you know that studies indicate that diversity can boost the quality of decision-making and can encourage people to be more creative, more diligent, and harder-working? Studies have also shown that a more diverse population can develop innovation, bring unique perspectives that shape knowledge and solve problems.
Writers like Langston Hughes, Georgia Douglass Johnson, Claude McKay and musicians like Louie Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Jimmy Lunceford and artists like Aaron Douglass, Richard Barthe, and Lois Jones were all people who captured images of American experiences not known by all. These diverse stories - spoken through words, sounds and images – inspire most of us to learn from the past and gain a greater understanding in present and future endeavors.
So, what does this and Black History Month have to do with love – the concern for the good of another sort of love? Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan is quoted as saying, “Knowledge gives us power, love gives us fullness.” Through history, education and the artistic endeavors, there is a greater potential of gaining diverse knowledge that creates a full and fulfilling life for all. And I think it’s possible that is the sort of love that makes the world go round.