A Tribute to Heroes Unknown, To Those Who Make Us Great
By: Dr. Kim Brown Barber
“No person is born great. Great people become great when others are sleeping.” This is an African proverb that many African Americans have embraced. There is no secret of the tremulous, violent torture African Americans have undergone as a race. However, it is even more important to acknowledge the unknown heroes that have been forged through these trials. There were and are many who utilized their gifts, passion and greatness to help someone else to their greatness. We must celebrate all the unknown heroes who are not in the history books or known by most people.
This is to honor the man named Benjamin Mays who mentored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and had many of his words sprinkled in Dr. King’s speeches. This is to honor Bertha Flowers, the woman who took Maya Angelou under her wings and restored her spirit after a horrendous molestation experience. This is to honor Hattie Mae Lee who is Oprah Winfrey’s grandmother who saw something special in her for communication that changed the world.
This is to honor Gloria Marie James, who took on the job as a single mom for Lebron James and his brothers, but also discovered Lebron’s love for basketball early on and bought him a basketball hoop. This is to honor Love Collins III, a vice chancellor who was pivotal in getting Former Representative John Lewis, a long time politician, statesman and civil rights activist, on his historical start in politics and civil rights. This is to honor Amanda Gorman, the youngest poet to read at a historic Presidential Inauguration, who for many people was unseen until that moment.
Without these great unknown or unsung heroes, there would be no known and sung heroes. Each one of us has greatness in us, around us and sometimes thrown upon us in adverse situations. We salute the African American community in their resilience and tenacity in being and constantly becoming great.