Celebrating Black History Month
01 Feb 2023
Many of our speakers attribute their opportunities, successes and passion for change to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Founded during the height of the American Civil Rights Movement in 1965, APB is honored to have worked with Dr. King during his lifetime, as well as many other civil rights leaders that who shared his vision. Devoted to spreading positive messages about love and equality, our speakers have fought tirelessly to realize the vision of justice, equality and freedom for our country. During Black History Month, they all provide perspective on how far we have come and how far we have left to go:
A professor, author and daughter of Malcolm X, Ilyasah Shabazz has continued her father’s legacy in devoting her life to fighting for justice and equality. As she says, “until we have a serious discussion, racism will continue to occur.”
Public intellectual and bestselling author Michael Eric Dyson says “Martin Luther King said impossibly difficult things for people to hear because it was necessary. He was a man of love and spoke these pressing words, risking his life, in the name of justice. He continues to be an inspiration to contemporary leaders and movements for justice to this day. It is in this tradition that Take A Knee, Black Lives Matter, and other movements follow...”
Author, political commentator and the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University Melissa Harris-Perry works to diversify journalism and make higher education a more accessible space for people of every race and class background. She also founded the Anna Julia Cooper Center on the mission of advancing justice through intersectionality in academia.
Another boundary-breaker is Admiral Michelle Howard, who was not only the first woman to become a 4-star admiral and the first woman to get the second highest rank in the Navy, but also the first African-American woman to reach a 3 or 4 star rank in any U.S. armed services capacity and the first African-American woman to command a Naval ship. Howard’s secret weapon for success in any realm, even including a high-intensity ship hijacking? Diversity!
Bestselling author, social entrepreneur and motivational leader Wes Moore remarked, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others. We honor Dr. King’s legacy through our persistent fight for what is right and an unwavering heart and spirit in service of our nation’s most vulnerable.”
Speaking on topics ranging from continuing the legacy and lessons of MLK to creating more diverse and inclusive spaces for everyone, our Black History Month speakers continue to inspire and empower. As we reflect during February, we would do well to keep Harris-Perry's important words in mind: “This is the imperfect fabric of our nation, at times we’ve torn and stained it, and at other moments, we mend and repair it. But it’s ours, all of it. The imperialism, the genocide, the slavery, also the liberation and hope and the deeply American belief that our best days are still ahead of us.”