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In recognition of Black History Month and its importance to our country, MetroWest Medical Center’s general surgeon Dr. Bankole Samuel has shared his thoughts with us:

Sometimes I am asked the question “What is Black History Month.” The answer seems obvious, but it is multifaceted. Black History Month is a celebration and acknowledgment of achievements of Black people. It spans across centuries, stretching from pre-emancipation to today. It is prudent to remember the past so we can avoid making the same mistakes. This is a way of ensuring a better future.

One cannot fathom not being able to own land, ride in the front of a bus, marry someone of a different race or use a water fountain because of our skin color. During this month, we acknowledge the efforts and sacrifices of great leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, George Washington Carver, John Mercer Langston, Claudette Colvin and many others. It is also important to acknowledge those who shared the same vision even though they were not black such as Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. They had views that were far beyond their time. They understood the words echoed in a future speech by Dr. King “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

I personally look at this great country and appreciate we live in a nation that has the ability to reflect and improve on its society. Black History Month reminds me of this. It is always an exciting month for me and I hope it is for you regardless of your skin color.