I was having a discussion with a friend recently and he commented on the belief that fewer young people, and in particular young men, are in Church today. This caused me to wonder about something. When you were growing up, was your minister, pastor (or Imam) also very visible in your community or did he (or she) primarily stay in the pulpit?
Is Jesus the reason for the season? Will you celebrate too commercial Christmas and very cultural Kwanzaa? Only Christmas? Only Kwanzaa? Hanukkah? Neither, none or something else? I do not see a conflict so since 1980, I have also celebrated Kwanzaa, as well as the less commercial aspects of Christmas! Since 2010, I have also started recognizing January 1st (instead of Juneteenth) as a better time to celebrate Independence Day for African-Americans. Why? Because that was the day that Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation went into effect (January 1, 1863). How about you?
Roanoke, Virginia is often called the "Star City". Who are famous African-Americans (past and present) with roots in the Valley? The first ones that come to mind for me (KOH) are Booker T. Washington (from Franklin County - legendary world leader), Oliver Hill (Roanoke - late civil rights attorney), Oscar Micheaux (Harlem Renaissance filmmaker), Charles "Big Dog" Thornhill (Roanoke - '60s college football) and Al Holland (Roanoke - major league baseball), but there must be many others before them and since from all throughout the Valley (including the surrounding counties) - and from all professions. We would like to post this so that the world will see our stars! This will be compiled, updated regularly and listed at: http://roanokerelatives.weebly.com/roanoke.html. This list is of all African-Americans from the Valley, not just relatives.
Mother Ruby Muhammad of Sacramento, California passed away in 2011 at the age of 113. We honored her on her 110th birthday by featuring her in the April 2007 episode of the CV Drum News. At the time of her passing, she was also the oldest subscriber to my publication. Have you ever known or met anyone over 100 years old?
Feel free to leave comments (even corrections) on any of these posts (old and current ones) at any time.