THE BLACK FAMILY PLEDGE - By Dr. Maya Angelou
Because we have forgotten our ancestors our children no longer give us honor.
Because we have lost the path our ancestors cleared, kneeling in perilous undergrowth, our children cannot find their way.
Because we have banished the God of our ancestors, our children can not pray.
Because the long wails of our ancestors have faded beyond our hearing, our children cannot hear us crying.
Because we have abandoned our wisdom of mothering and fathering, our befuddled children give birth to children they neither want nor understand.
Because we have forgotten how to love, the adversary is within our gates, and holds us up to the mirror of the world, shouting, Regard the loveless.
Therefore, we pledge to bind ourselves again to one another;
To embrace our lowliest,
To keep company with our loneliest,
To educate our illiterate,
To feed our starving,
To clothe our ragged,
To do all good things, knowing that we are more than keepers of our brothers and sisters. We are our brothers and sisters.
In honor of those who toiled and implored God with golden tongues, and in gratitude to the same God who brought us out of hopeless desolation,
We make this pledge.
The United States celebrates Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May. In the United States, Mother's Day was loosely inspired by the British day and was imported by social activist Julia Ward Howe after the American Civil War. However, it was intended as a call to unite women against war. In 1870, she wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation as a call for peace and disarmament. Howe failed in her attempt to get formal recognition of a Mother's Day for Peace. Her idea was influenced by Ann Jarvis, a young Appalachian homemaker who, starting in 1858, had attempted to improve sanitation through what she called Mothers' Work Days. She organized women throughout the Civil War to work for better sanitary conditions for both sides, and in 1868 she began work to reconcile Union and Confederate neighbors. In parts of the United States it is customary to plant tomatoes outdoors after Mother's Day (and not before).
When Jarvis died in 1907, her daughter, named Anna Jarvis, started the crusade to found a memorial day for women. The first such Mother's Day was celebrated in Grafton, West Virginia, on 10 May 1908, in the church where the elder Ann Jarvis had taught Sunday School. Originally the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church, this building is now the International Mother's Day Shrine (a National Historic Landmark). From there, the custom caught on — spreading eventually to 45 states. The holiday was declared officially by some states beginning in 1912. In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared the first national Mother's Day, as a day for American citizens to show the flag in honor of those mothers whose sons had died in war.
Nine years after the first official Mother's Day, commercialization of the U.S. holiday became so rampant that Anna Jarvis herself became a major opponent of what the holiday had become. Mother's Day continues to this day to be one of the most commercially successful U.S. occasions. According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother's Day is now the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant in the United States.
Children’s Day observations in the United States predate both Mother’s and Father’s Day. The celebration of a special Children’s Day in America dates from the 1860s and earlier.
In 1856, Rev. Charles H. Leonard, D.D., then pastor of the First Universalist Church of Chelsea, Mass., set apart a Sunday for the dedication of children to the Christian life, and for the re-dedication of parents and guardians to bringing-up their children in Christian nurture. This service was first observed the second Sunday in June.
The Universalist Convention at Baltimore in September, 1867, passed a resolution commending churches to set apart one Sunday in each year as Children’s Day.
The Methodist Episcopal Church at the Methodist Conference of 1868 recommended that second Sunday in June be annually observed as Children’s Day.
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in 1883 designated the “the second Sabbath in June as Children’s Day.”
Also in 1883, the National Council of Congregational Churches and nearly all the state bodies of that denomination in the United States passed resolutions commending the observance of the day. About this time many other denominations adopted similar recommendations.
Chase’s Calendar of Events cites Children’s Sunday and notes that The Commonwealth of Massachusetts issues an annual proclamation for the second Sunday in June.
Numerous churches and denominations currently observe the second Sunday in June including the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Church of the Nazarene.
Father's Day is a secular celebration inaugurated in the early twentieth century to complement Mother's Day in celebrating fatherhood and parenting by males, and to honor and commemorate fathers and forefathers. Father's Day is celebrated on a variety of dates worldwide and typically involves gift-giving to fathers and family-oriented activities.
In the United States, the first modern Father's Day celebration was held on July 5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia. It was first celebrated as a church service at Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South, now known as Central United Methodist Church. Grace Golden Clayton, who is believed to have suggested the service to the pastor, is believed to have been inspired to celebrate fathers after the deadly mine explosion in nearby Monongah the prior December. This explosion killed 361 men, many of them fathers and recent immigrants to the United States from Italy. Another possible inspiration for the service was Mother's Day, which had been celebrated for the first time two months prior in Grafton, West Virginia, a town about 15 miles (24 km) away.
Another driving force behind the establishment of the integration of Father's Day was Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd, born in Creston, Washington. Her father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, as a single parent reared his six children in Spokane, Washington. She was inspired by Anna Jarvis's efforts to establish Mother's Day. Although she initially suggested June 5, the anniversary of her father's death, she did not provide the organizers with enough time to make arrangements, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June. The first June Father's Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, WA.
Unofficial support from such figures as William Jennings Bryan was immediate and widespread. President Woodrow Wilson was personally feted by his family in 1916. President Calvin Coolidge recommended it as a national holiday in 1924. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson made Father's Day a holiday to be celebrated on the third Sunday of June. The holiday was not officially recognized until 1972, during the presidency of Richard Nixon.
In recent years, retailers have adapted to the holiday by promoting male-oriented gifts such as electronics, tools and greeting cards. Schools and other children's programs commonly have activities to make Father's Day gifts.
The Father's Day Weekend has recently been used to bring awareness to Prostate Cancer in older men. Major League Baseball as well as other organizations have activities on Father's Day Weekend to heighten our awareness of this deadly disease.
BLACK FAMILY REUNION
Celebrate Your Roots!
Parents can give their children are Roots and Wings!
Make decision to have a Reunion
Black Family Month
What is Black Family Month?
Black Family Month is the month of July. It is a month that is dedicated to the enrichment of Black families through, education, health and self improvement.
How do I celebrate Black Family Month?
- have joint family reunions
- have a block party
- do some community outreach
- get the place of worship involved
- contact your local health department to ask for the community screenings dept and set up some screening for your neighborhood
- get the kids involved
- rent a bouncer or other activities for the youngsters
- Contact the city/ municipality you're in and ask for help
There are grants available to individuals and organizations for screenings, block parties and events. Make sure it is advertised. Word of month, friends, family and flyers. Have fun and make it a tradition. A great start to a long time commitment.
For more info: National Black Family Month
Who started Black Family Month?
Shaun McLaughlin is the founder of this observance. She realized that family reunions could be used for more than eating a lot of good food. So she started convincing local organizations to attend family reunions to give free blood presure readings and remind parents to spend time reading to their children with book drives it grew from there. you may email Shaun McLaughlin directly at email@example.com to request an interview.
National Grandparents Day is a United States secular holiday celebrated on the first Sunday after Labor Day. The official song of National Grandparents Day is "A Song For Grandma And Grandpa" by Johnny Prill. The official flower is the forget-me-not.
The history of Grandparents Day can be traced back to 1961 with the efforts of Mrs. Hermine Beckett Hanna. Hermine Hanna has been recognized nationally by The United States Senate, in particular Senator Alphonse D'Amato, and President Carter as the founder of National Grandparents Day. Hermine made it her goal to educate the young in the community to the important contributions senior citizens have made, and to the important contributions they are willing to make if asked. She also urged the young to adopt a grandparent, not for 1 day a year, not for material giving, but for a lifetime of experience and caring just waiting to be shared with others.
Marian McQuade of Oak Hill, W.V. is credited with lobbying for a national observance of Grandparents Day.
Also credited is Michael Goldgar of Atlanta, Georgia. In 1979 Their efforts paid off, when President Jimmy Carter signed Public Law 96-62 designating the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. The statute cites the day's purpose as: "... to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children, and to help children become aware of strength, information, and guidance older people can offer."
Later that year, Senator Jennings Randolph (D-WV) introduced a resolution in the United States Senate to make Grandparents Day a national holiday. Five years later in 1978, Congress passed legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day and then-President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation
Since 2000, the goal of National Adoption Day has been that every community in the U.S. will have an annual, institutionalized, self-driven celebration of National Adoption Day on or near the Saturday before Thanksgiving, which can include finalizing adoptions of children from foster care and celebrating all adoptions. In total, more than 25,000 children have been adopted from foster care on National Adoption Day. This year National Adoption Day will be held on November 19, 2011.
National Adoption Day is a collective national effort to raise awareness of the 129,000 children in foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families. National Adoption Day has made the dreams of thousands of children come true by working with policymakers, practitioners and advocates to finalize adoptions and find permanent, loving homes for children in foster care.