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Thoughts from the executive

February 23, 2013

Black History Month

"Black History Month was created in 1926 in the United States, when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be 'Negro History Week'. This week was chosen because it marked the birthday of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Woodson created the holiday with the hope that it eventually be eliminated when black history became fundamental to American history." ~Wikipedia

The Jackie Robinson Family YMCA has always worked hard to insure the original intent of Woodson that black history is never anything short of American history, especially in our Southeastern San Diego service area and throughout the region every day.

On Saturday, February 23, the Black American Political Association of California (BAPAC) San Diego Chapter hosted their 4th Annual Black History Month Breakfast in our gymnasium. Over three-hundred attended. This very special event was followed by the 1st Annual Battle for Basketball Supremacy featuring Da Ques from ΩΨΦ vs. Da Nupes from ΚΑΨ.

Growing up in Detroit, I had constant reminders of black history and those making history every day. I also learned that the history makers in my life were not always those icons elevated and celebrated today. I stand on their shoulders and thank God every day for how they served others and helped direct my path and influence how I use my head, heart, and hands today. When I left my hometown to become an assistant basketball coach at San Diego State in 1980, Detroit was home to 754,274 black Americans.

It quickly became obvious that was not the case in San Diego.

The 2010 census report revealed only 166,840 blacks in a San Diego Region of 3,211,721. Twenty-four percent reside in the neighborhood communities of the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA but those 40,363 are only fourteen percent of the 272,355 residing in our service area. This only heightens how much I value and appreciate those that work hard to insure black history is never an after thought in February and every month of the year.

Jackie Robinson is always one of those "heroes" worshiped at this time of year. For some reason, I would suspect he would prefer his success be used for significance. On April 12 the movie 42 about his life will be released. The Robinson Family can't say enough about the authenticity delivered by Legendary Entertainment producer Thomas Tull. The impact of this film to those touched everyday by the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA will be beyond significant.

Do your part everyday to remember how black history has shaped American history.

Go here to watch 42.

Like 42 on Facebook.

Visit iam42.com.

View April 15 is Jackie Robinson Day.


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