Good Morning! Here's the Monday Morning Blog!
Did you get a chance to touch base with that teen or young adult in your life last week? When you get a chance, ask your teen about what the word diversity means to them. Acceptance of people who are different from us is important for our country to move forward and come together. Maybe you and your teen want to help by being accepting and inclusive of others. Find out what your teen or young adults' thoughts are about it.
July's Theme - United in Diversity
Diversity is the practice or quality of including or involving people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds, different genders, or different sexual orientations.
Our country is composed of many people from different social and ethnic backgrounds. The history of our country has been about all types of people coming together and trying to make it in the land of opportunity.
In the United States, we are attempting to be inclusive of the many different types of people. It isn't an easy thing for some people to do. But somehow, we need to become united in our country's diversity.
This month I am going to focus on the composition of our country and how we can become more united in diversity. Check out my mentor page and see how I am doing it Selma P. Verde - Mentor Page
What makes a person or story inspiring?
I call these posts Inspiring Stories. What makes a story inspiring? I think a story is inspiring when it is about something that a person doesn't normally do, and it gives the reader an idea that maybe it is something they could do. Or it is the story about a person's journey to get to that remarkable event or to something that changes their life.
When we think of leaders of diversity and inclusion, you might think of historical figures like Rosa Park and Martin Luther King, Jr. However, every single day, trailblazers like Jesse Jackson, Kamala Harris and even the Dalai Lama encourage humans all around the world to open up their worldview and learn about different ethnicities, races, genders and religions.
This month we are featuring another historical figure who was a leader in diversity. Former President Abraham Lincoln was president at a turning point for one of the cultures that make up a major part of the diversity in our country, African Americans.
Who was Abraham Lincoln?
According to Wikipedia, Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States. He was born on February 12, 1809, in a log cabin in Kentucky. He was largely self-educated but had some formal schooling when he could attend school between farm chores. With a total of 12 months of formal schooling between ages 7 and 15, he borrowed books and worked hard at his studies to become a lawyer.
Before getting involved in politics, he worked at a general store in New Salem, IL. In 1832, he declared his candidacy for the Illinois House of Representatives, but interrupted his campaign to serve as captain in the Illinois militia in the Black Hawk War. He successfully won his second campaign for the Illinois House of Representatives in 1834 and served four terms in that role.
He continued in his political career to become an US Senator and later elected as the President of the United States in 1861.
He was concerned about slavery
African Americans were originally brought to the United States in 1619 to fill a labor shortage aggravated by the high death rate of indigenous people due to diseases brought to America from immigrating Europeans. Their role was to serve as slaves for plantation owners and other landowners who needed help.
So, slavery was well in place here, as Lincoln was getting involved in politics and he debated the ideas of slavery. In his campaigns for US Senate, he had many debates with incumbent Stephen Douglas. In his speech at Copper Union on February 27, 1860,
He insisted that morality required opposition to slavery, and rejected any "groping for some middle ground between the right and the wrong".
As tensions increased between the free north and the slave holding south, Lincoln was elected president and some of the slave holding southern states started the process to succeed from the United States, afraid that Lincoln would get slavery abolished. Thus, the Civil War began between the north and south.
Out of the Civil War, came the Emancipation Proclamation. This was a presidential proclamation made by President Lincoln in 1863. With this proclamation, Lincoln changed the status of more than 3.5 million enslaved African Americans in southern successionist states from enslaved to free.
The reconstruction amendments that also took place during Lincoln's presidency, one of which was the 13th Amendment which abolished slavery in 1865, and the 14th and 15th, greatly expanded the civil rights of Americans.
Why is he inspiring to us?
Abrahma Lincoln changed the diversity in our country by freeing a big part of the population from slavery and then getting it abolished all together after his assassination in April of 1865. Blacks were now able to create lives for themselves and share their unique culture and beliefs with others in our country. It wasn't seen as the most popular decision by a lot of people, but he pushed it through and made it happen.
He had a vision that was put forth in our constitution by Thomas Jefferson that all men are created equal. In the quote above, Lincoln says that statement had no real practical purpose in our breaking free from Britian but was put into the constitution for future use. That future use was to see all Americans as equals. Lincoln made that happen when he took the steps to abolish slavery and make strides towards becoming united in our diversity.
Want to learn more about Abraham Lincoln?
If you want to learn more about Abraham Lincoln, there are a lot of options out there. I like the Wikipedia page layout and information Abraham Lincoln
There are many books out there about Abraham Lincoln, his life, political aspirations, his experience as the president and his assignation. You can search Google or check out your local library for options. Or you can shop one of your local bookstores in person or shop Bookshop.org and have the purchase credited to them.
What people or stories have you found to be inspiring? Let me know what the story was and how it inspired you in the comments below.
The Way Series - coming of age
The Way Series is a coming-of-age series for teens and young adults. It focuses on challenges that teens can face while growing up. The Hard Way is the first book, and it is a relatable story about peer pressure and Shawn's Way is a relatable story about bullying. These books may help you to start a conversation with your teen about these issues or may give them a story they can read that relates to something they may be facing.
Here is a link to my books tab - Selma's Books. Check it out for more information about this great series for teens and young adults.