Reflecting on Black History Month - JR Boatwright Divisional Music & Gospel Arts Director
JR Boatwright, Divisional Music & Gospel Arts Director
What does Black History Month mean to you?
For me, Black History Month is an opportunity to reflect those who came before me. There is a reason that as a Black man I can do the things that I am able to do now. Many people have come before me who have given so much. Black History Month is about gratitude for those who paved the way for Black people today. Part of being an African American male for me is doing my best to make sure that it’s easier for the next generation to be able to make their dreams come true. It’s about looking back, looking forward and taking pride in all that we have achieved and accomplished.
What are some ways to honor and celebrate Black History Month?
I believe in ensuring that the younger generation have good examples to live by. I believe in setting the best example I can. Providing positive role models is so important. To honor Black History Month, we should celebrate those who have inspired us, and we should be the best role models we can be, all the time.
What does it mean to you to inspire others in your role as our Divisional Music & Gospel Arts Director?
I love my work as the Divisional Music & Gospel Arts Director. Working with our young people throughout our communities is the greatest blessing. I believe in developing confidence in everyone, it’s so important to inspire and to encourage others. When I go into schools and community settings, I meet with young people who come from diverse backgrounds. Every young person is different, but they all need and deserve opportunity, inspiration, and care. It’s important that we show our young people care and consideration. They are the leaders of tomorrow after all. Our world thrives on energy, and people thrive on love, or they suffer because of a lack of it. We can all make a difference to inspire and show our young people that a bright future is possible for them.
What is your conclusion?
For me every month is Black History Month and every day is Black History Day. This is a reality that we live, and I think as human beings we should be cognizant of the journey that African Americans have made. We should honor those who came before us by being the best versions of ourselves. That should be everyone’s goal no matter where they come from! Being part of The Salvation Army family, every day is about God, and every day is about love. It doesn't matter where you come from, what your background or name is, you are loved by God. Every one of us comes from God and we should honor and praise God every day in how we live, and how we treat each other. God is love.
Midland Division Music & Gospel Arts