Wisdom Wednesday this week was prepared in advance and focuses on the upcoming observance of Black History Month.
A reminder, some excellent sources of significant news include Today’s American Catholic, America, Commonweal and Vatican News. Subscriptions may be required.
Black History Month
We look ahead to February as Black History Month. A national government website offers an overview and a calendar of events. Check it out!
The story of Black History Month begins in Chicago during the summer of 1915, according to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).
According to ASALH, an alumnus of the University of Chicago with many friends in the city, Carter G. Woodson traveled from Washington, D.C. to participate in a national celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of emancipation sponsored by the state of Illinois. Later, Woodson chose February for reasons of tradition and reform. It is commonly said that Woodson selected February to encompass the birthdays of two great Americans who played a prominent role in shaping black history, namely Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
Black Catholic Messenger recently interviewed Jesuit Father Chris Kellerman on his new book released last fall, ‘All Oppression Shall Cease’, covering Catholic slavery and abolitionism. The book includes perspectives, stories, and the holy resistance to slavery by Black Catholics. Messenger editor, Nate Tinner-Williams, said the book covers topics of great interest in the modern age with incredibly controversial historical twists and turns. From the complicity of popes and priests and sisters in the slave trade, to the surprisingly prescient developments among some Catholics—Black and White—in the early centuries of the era, the new text is sure to fascinate.
African history written by Africans
Finally, Boston University has published what may be astonishing to many readers – an account of a language unknown to the French colonists in Senegal, written in a modified Arabic script by the supposedly “illiterate” people. The researcher, Boston University College of Arts & Sciences professor of anthropology Fallou Ngom, made the discovery when going through the papers of his deceased father. Expanding his search, Ngom began to find religious texts, medical diagnoses, advertisements, love poems, business records, contracts, and writings on astrology, ethics, morality, history, and geography, all from people who were considered illiterate by the official governmental standards of their countries. Read the full story here.
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We hope you have enjoyed this roundup of recent news about faith, politics, and culture. We will return next week with another edition of Wisdom Wednesday.
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