My Thursday thoughts are about a great man, William Wilburforce. Who is he? Well William Wilburforce, and Englisman, was a powerful champion in the fight to abolish slavery, not only in his country of England but also worldwide. He fought hard for the freedom of slaves and was a leader in the campaign. On a side note, he also created the first Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals.
“Wilberforce has long been viewed as a Christian hero, a statesman-saint held up as a role model for putting his faith into action. More broadly, he has also been described as a humanitarian reformer who contributed significantly to reshaping the political and social attitudes of the time by promoting concepts of social responsibility and action.” (Wiki excerpt)
Now as we, or you, celebrate Black History Month, Mr. Wilberforce’s contribution to the advancement of black people should be a part of black history. I must remind you though of my apathy towards the continued celebrating of Black History Month. I feel it has no place in this day and age and is anti-progressive. As a black man, I share the pride of the accomplishments of black people. Because we are striving to eliminate racial barriers and see each other as just fellow humans, I see these celebrations as ‘us against them’. I see them as barriers that serve as speed bumps on the road to the eradication of racism.
Back to Mr. William Wilberforce…Black history would not be complete without the inclusion of people like Wilberforce. His name should be spoken of in the same breath as Martin Luther King’s. Granted, he was English but his aim was to secure the freedom of slaves across the oceans. Because of him and other non-blacks like him, us black were able to get to where we are today. Without them maybe we wouldn’t have had King or Obama or me.
And that’s my take…