Given by Rev. Madison Shockley February 14, 2021

God’s words tell us to let light shines out of the darkness. Carter G. Woodson created the first Negro History week in 1926. It grew into Black History month by 1976. Woodson wanted to reclaim black history which had been erased due to slavery/racism. Woodson wanted to remind everyone that black achievements were part of the foundation of modern civilization. He chose February to honor Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.  Frederick Douglass was an American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. An earlier leader who also shaped the effort to reclaim black history was Richard Allen. Richard Allen was a minister, educator, writer, and one of America’s most active and influential Black leaders. In 1794, he founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the first independent Black denomination in the United States. The good news in the black church was understood to be freedom. This was the light shining out of the darkness.  Black churches and their ministers spread the messages from the gospel and blacks found hope and a way to freedom. Blacks are reclaiming their history and laying the foundation for the future.