Friday Memory:

Being Thankful

Friday's Memory, November 23, 2018

 

By Elaine Buck

Beverly and I would like to take time out of our busy schedules to express how thankful we are for countless daily blessings.

A few weeks ago we celebrated with you at the book launch of “If These Stones Could Talk” and at our subsequent book signings. We thank God for using us as his instruments to bring untold African American history to the public so it can rightfully take its place in American history books.

Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” We must never forget the countless numbers of our African American brethren who were denied education under the threat of death. We further recognize those who presently languish in substandard and underfunded school systems. We are thankful for the education we received from the Hopewell Valley School System that equipped us with the skills to be able to put our words on paper to share with you all.

I am truly grateful for my upbringing, for being raised by my humble, God fearing, compassionate and caring grandparents. I still feel the love which surrounded me and taught me to share the gift of being empathetic, generous and respectful to all people regardless of their skin color, religious beliefs or class distinction.

Bev and I have come a mighty long way. The traditions that we hold fast were made by our ancestors who were slaves. For them to celebrate Thanksgiving meant it was not only a day of rest from the slave master but also to have the chance to get a pass to visit family or friends on neighboring properties. They spent their day at church thanking God and sending up prayers that one day they may all be free; free to travel without having to ask the master for a pass, free to prepare their own Thanksgiving meal and free to be the masters of their own bodies.

We both have come from modest beginnings and as African Americans have always been aware that our lives have historically been regarded as less than significant. Regardless, we are truly thankful as we commemorate the past and celebrate the future.

We wish you all a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

African Methodist Episcopalian cleric, Reverend Benjamin Arnett stirred a predominantly black congregation on November 30, 1876 with Biblically inspired words:

…we call on all American citizens to love their country, and look not on the sins of the past, but arming ourselves for the conflict of the future, girding ourselves in the habiliments of Righteousness, march forth with the courage of a Numidian lion and with the confidence of a Roman Gladiator, and meet the demands of the age, and satisfy the duties of the hour…” ~ Black Then – Discovering our History

Photo taken at Hopewell Valley Bistro & Inn Nov. 17th event.