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At Stearns Design Build we recognize Black History Month as symbol of our four core values.

Quality – This is an opportunity for us to highlight people of quality who have made significant differences in our common experience.

Caring – There are many aspects of caring that come to light as we think about the history of the African American experience. We are inspired by the endurance of caring. African Americans were brought to this country against their will, in conditions that killed many in route and more by the conditions they met here. In fact, this is the 400th anniversary of the first African slaves arriving in Virginia. Among other things that means that African Americans were enslaved here for 246 years and they have been free for 154 years. But most African Americans were not allowed to vote until 1965. Or to put it another way, Black people were denied the right to vote for 346 years and have had that right for 54 years. Despite all these hardships and ongoing discrimination African American contributions are tremendous.  That is caring. And of course, we must all care enough to overcome a history marred by deep cruelty.

Honesty – For a long time now black people have been written out of American history. Honesty demands a more thorough and accurate accounting.

Relationship – Everything that we do is built on relationship. The greatness of our country is built on the relationships we maintain. No matter what tensions may exist racially, politically or spiritually, we are called on to reach out to one another in a kindred bond to bridge divides and heal wounds.

We have taken time this month to recognize some great black Americans. In the last of this series we tip our hat to a local African American hero who has done so much to help preserve our local history.  In this article from the Eagle, my friend Wayne Sadberry’s contributions are recognized.