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State of Texas
The "I" in History
by Samuel L. Collins III
Thursday, January 26, 2012

It is often said that there is no “I” in the word team.  That is true, but good teams are made of individuals that play or perform well together.  Good teams recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each team member.  Good teams also want to defeat their opponents.

For the last year and a half I have been asked to chair the African American Heritage Committee for the Galveston Historical Foundation.  Whether in Galveston, at the state or national level, I have always advocated for African American history to simply be accepted as American history.

There is no"I" in team, but there is an “I” in History. 

Why are more people not engaged?  Why do so many people not care?  Why is there such apathy with regards to history in our communities? 

One of the reasons is a lack of inclusion.

When I look at history and how historians tell the story of history, often I do not see enough examples of the positive contributions of African Americans to history.  Like many others, if I do not feel included in “HIS” story, then I am less interested in history.

Inclusion generates interests.  Interest generates participation and participation generates passion.  Passion then drives the desire to feed the hunger for knowledge.  Knowledge of self and knowledge of truth.

As we approach February we get closer and closer to Black History month.  Is Black History month necessary?  Why have a special month for Black history?

Sitting in a board meeting as the chair of the GHF-AAHC, I feel as though I am sitting in the “Colored” section of Galveston history.  Why is the African American Heritage Committee necessary in 2012?

Black History month and the AAHC are both still necessary because both are needed to raise awareness in our community of positive contributions to society by African Americans.  Contributions of Blacks to local, American & world history continues to be minimized. 

In order to eliminate the AAHC and Black History month, our community and America must be willing to value the contributions of African Americans to our shared history.   

Here are a few examples of African American men and women that made contributions to Galveston history:

T. D. Armstrong, top 100 wealthiest Negroes in America May 1962. 

Jesse McGuire-Dent, fought & won equal pay for black teachers. She was also one of the founding members of Delta Sigma Theta sorority.  

Dr. Herman Barnett III, Tuskegee Airman, first Black admitted to and graduate of UTMB.

Wilina Gatson, first Black graduate of UTMB School of Nursing. 

If you would like to learn more about these and other individuals that have made an impact on Galveston history please attend one of our monthly meetings. 

Each month the AAHC meets on the second Tuesday at 4pm. 

The next meeting will be Feb. 14th. The meetings are held at Old Central Cultural Center, 2627 Ave M in Galveston. 

Galveston has a good history team and our opponent is ignorance. 
Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.” Benjamin Franklin 

Remembering Jim Guidry

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