For decades the month of February has been for the lovers. It is often associated with roses, candy, teddy bears and St. Valentine. February is also the month to recognize and celebrate the many African-American legends and unsung heroes upon whose shoulders we stand.
Within these 28 days we remember and honor courageous leaders, activists, athletes, performers and many others who helped shape and cultivate a more fair and just nation.
Leaders such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, and Savannah State’s own founder Major Richard R. Wright have given us the opportunity, as black Americans, to know that we have the right to claim the American Dream as our own.
Often I reflect in a young African-American boy who walked miles to go to school, only to later
create the oldest black public institution in Georgia. How inspiring it is to know that even in the ugly and demeaning face of Jim Crow, segregation, and dehumanization, one man was able to dream large enough to create an institution for the advancement of colored youth.
It is that vision that has given young men the courage to see themselves as more than a statistic and young woman to see themselves as a respected equal among men. This hope has given African Americans the tenacity to create legacies of their own. That motto, “You can get anywhere from here,” stands as reassurance to students that neither economic background nor the color of their skin will affect their ability to succeed while attending Savannah State University.
Major Wright left a rich and profound legacy that has impacted the lives of students, faculty and staff that have had the privilege of calling this university home. His efforts have allowed generations of students to dream a dream that was deferred for many African-Americans by acts of hate, thus exemplifying the true meaning of Black History Month.
On behalf of the Tiger’s Roar executive board, and myself, I would like to wish everyone a happy Black History Month. May we all continuously learn and protect the legacy that was so tirelessly fought for by a man who envisioned greatness for all African-Americans. Through that fight and the ongoing battle, we now have the privilege of attending Savannah State University. Let us give praise and thanks to our alma mater SSU.
Major Wright, we salute you.