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Jackson: Black history benefits society

Greg Mast, The Ottawa Herald
February 20, 2018.

Black History Month is a time to reflect and learn, Richard Jackson, a long time member of the Ottawa Black Awareness Committee, said.

“Take time to learn about those that paved a way,” Jackson said. “History is history and sometimes it needs to be retold. You have to know your history.”

Black History Month was enacted in 1976 by President Gerald Ford. Jackson said there are a lot of misconceptions about why black history was set apart.

He said the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s was not just about rights for African-Americans, but for everybody.

“It is not a black-and-white thing,” Jackson said. “The things that Dr. {Martin Luther] King did benefits society as a whole: civil rights, equal opportunity, employment, fair housing and transportation. He opened up those doors for African-Americans, but he opened them for everybody. Society as a whole benefitted from that. People need to change their thinking that this is for black people only.”

Jackson views today’s America slipping when it comes to race relations.

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