“ATSU Reflects on Black History Month” is a series of personal statements from A.T. Still University faculty, staff, and students. This installment features Clinton Normore, MBA, vice president for diversity & inclusion.
Black History Month refreshes my understanding about the struggle of so many before me and the sacrifices they made for me to enjoy the freedom and privileges I’ve had. I think about those lost in the Middle Passage, during slave auctions, and trying to escape the torment of a life in bondage. I try to imagine what, if anything other than despair, was going on in their minds.
I think about those lost during subsequent wars to protect the freedoms we as a people are guaranteed by our creator and outlined in our Constitution. I think about the civil rights leaders and activists who continued the struggle; ushering in Brown vs. Board of Education, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and countless executive orders to cement into law that which is intrinsic to every human being.
I think about the collective of people beyond those of color, gender identity, political affiliation, and religious persuasion who also fought and died for inalienable rights. I also think about the indigenous population whose grace and good will afforded access to a land bountiful and rich. I mostly think about the contributions marginalized people, once denied the right to be considered human, continue making to the country I am so proud to be a member of.
I think of these things often, and in this moment – this particular year – worry we are moving backwards. However, I am hopeful our better angels will prevail, just like in centuries past. Black History Month is a celebration of all that we are as a democracy.