the Lord Jesus Black History Month
Black History Monthand in classrooms around the country, children have been
learning about famous African Americans and their contributions to our culture.
Thats a good thing. But there's one thing most kids have not been learning about
many of these famous men and women: that is, their Christian faith and how it
motivated their lives and their work.
instance, Sojourner Truth is often identified as a womens rights advocate and
abolitionist. Overlooked is the source of Sojourners fiery devotion to
human rights: That was her commitment to Jesus Christ. "The Lord gave me
the name Sojourner," she declared, "because I was to travel up
and down the land, showing people their sins, and being a sign unto them."
At age 88, her dying words were, "Follow the Lord Jesus."
then there's Rosa Parks. Many people know the story of the seamstress who helped
ignite the modern civil rights movement. But far fewer people know that Parks
is a devout Christian and that it was her faith that gave her the strength to
do what she did that day in 1955. "Since I have always been a strong believer
in God," she says, "I knew that He was with me, and only He could get
me through that next step"that is, refusing to give up her seat on
a bus to a white man.
kids have also been hearing a lot about Jackie Robinsons quiet dignity in the
face of racial bigotry on the ball field. But many dont realize the source of
Robinsons ability to turn the other cheek: It was his faith in Jesus Christ.
During his ten years with the Dodgers, he endured racist remarks, death threats,
and unfair calls by umpires. But Robinsons faith helped him keep his anger in
check. Every night, he got on his knees and prayed for self-control.
people know that George Washington Carver was a chemist and agronomist. Born a
slave in 1860, Carver rose to become director of agricultural research at Tuskegee
University in Alabama. He is remembered for developing 118 derivative products
from sweet potatoes and 300 from peanutsincluding my favorite food, peanut
butter. Thanks to his efforts, by 1940, peanuts were the second largest cash crop
in the South.
But go to his name in the encyclopedia, and youll find no reference
to the most important aspect of his life: how his faith in God inspired his creativity.
didnt make these discoveries," Carver once said. "God has only worked
through me to reveal to His children some of His wonderful providence."
like these are a reminder of what a central role the Christian faith has played
in the lives of many great Americans. We Christians need to reclaim our cultural
heritage from those who seem intent on deleting it from history booksand
from Black History Month celebrations. So I urge you: Before the month ends, make
sure your own kids learn about the abiding faith of Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks,
Jackie Robinson, George Washington Carver, and, of course, the Rev. Martin Luther
King, Jr. And consider donating some of the good biographies written about these
people to local schools and librariesbiographies that tell the whole story.
kids deserve to know, not only of African-American contributions to science, politics,
and culture, but also of those individuals commitments to Christ.
More from Charles Colson on CBN.com
- Mary G. Butler,
Truth: A Life and Legacy of Faith," Sojourner Truth Institute of Battle
G. Butler, "The
Words of Truth," Heritage Battle Creek: A Journal of Local History
8 (Fall 1997).
Terry Whalin, Sojourner
Truth: American Abolitionist, from the Heroes of the Faith series (Barbour,
Commentary No. 990625, "The
Woman on the Bus: The Faith of Rosa Parks."
Parks and Gregory J. Reed, Quiet
Strength: The Faith, the Hope, and the Heart of a Woman Who Changed a Nation
Commentary No. 980217, "Baseballs
Great Experiment: The Jackie Robinson Story."
M. Walker, Jackie
Robinson (Carolrhoda Books, 2002).
Washington Carver: A legacy of salvation for the lowlands of sorrow!,"
from "Four Iowans Who Fed the World," a symposium held at the Herbert
Hoover Presidential Library-Museum, 26 October 2002.
Washington Carver: Inventor and Naturalist, from the Heroes of the Faith
series (Barbour, 1998).
Commentary No. 030117, "Fighting
Unjust Laws: Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr."
A. Warren, King
Came Preaching: The Pulpit Power of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (InterVarsity,
Faithful Steward," Focus on the Family magazine.
for Humanity: A Biography of William Wilberforce (NavPress, 2002).
From BreakPoint, Copyright Prison Fellowship
with Chuck Colson" is a radio ministry of Prison Fellowship
Ministries. Reprinted with permission of Prison Fellowship, P.O. Box 17500, Washington,
DC, 20041-0500." Heard on more than 1000 radio stations nationwide.
For more information on the ministry of Chuck Colson and Prison Fellowship visit
their web site at http://www.breakpoint.org.
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