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A look at our storied history

Throughout this month — Black History Month — the Times has provided articles showing not just black history itself, but just a few of the poignant and powerful moments in black history right here in Demopolis, from the 1965 visit by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the desegregation of our schools as well as a look at the role models and heroes of a few of the people whom I consider to be role models and heroes within our community.

While these articles were aimed at our youth, I hope our other readers were able to glean something from them. I wanted to point out that history is all around us, that it isn’t something that happens “out there” or “somewhere else.”

History is not just something that happened a long time ago or sometime before we were born. It includes events from our childhood, from today, and even events that have yet to happen. We witness history every day in the news and in the decisions that are being made by our civic leaders. As such, we are all a part of the history that is ongoing right here in Demopolis.

“Black history” affects non-blacks as well, just as other aspects of history affect blacks and others. Just as we are an amalgamation of races and backgrounds, so too are we a mixture of histories and heritage, a blending of people and events that helped to forge our city and life as we know it in the here-and-now.

I encourage everyone to take some time to read a little more history involving blacks in America — not just in February, but anytime. Read a novel or poetry by black writers. Take a peek into the mind of someone who may or may not be like you, either in physical appearance or in perspective and thought.

As human beings, it is our responsibility to nurture our minds and to expand our horizons. When we learn more about “black history,” we learn more about history as a whole and gain a new insight into our own pasts. It is all one history, our history, just as we are one people, and we can grow closer to being one people by learning more about each other. By knowing where we’re all coming from, we can better determine where we are going.

David Snow is managing editor of the Demopolis Times.