The Dakota Indian recognizes the month of August as the month when everything ripens. Our best crops come in August. Our ancestors prepared for winter by jarring up fruits and vegetables in August. Much of our history has either occurred or culminated during the month of August;
The Japanese Surrender
The Berlin Wall
The March on Washington
The Philadelphia and Watts Riots
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
The Voting Right Bill
The Chicago Convention
Angela Davis Arrest
And in addition;
The Woodstock concert
The gruesome Manson murders and the resignation of President Nixon.
It is a peculiar month;
Nearing the end of summer, people are tired of being hot and at times feeling a slight chill of autumn. The sap is just beginning to fall as we’re loosing daylight and children are preparing to return to school.
Light of the August Moon encourages discussion of our recent past. It also encourages questioning our condition;
How long have politicians been campaigning about lifting poor folks out of poverty?
What about the roots of technology we use today?
How did we navigate around looming danger in our culture?
Where is the Golden Triangle, the Golden Crescent and what does it have to do with our current drug use?
Looking back on this history can give just a peek at how long, how mean and how deceptive conventional wisdom can be.
Were it not for the pioneers of the past we may not be as far as we are now, therefore, we cannot let them slip into obscurity.
Movement for social change in any sustainable way cannot be achieved until we understand how the dynamics from the past placed us where we are. Adjusting our values and behavior to cater to the world around us limits our ability to turn optimistic dreams into triumphant realities.
Without history, anyone can tell us anything and we have no point of reference from which to draw. History is our moral and cultural compass to help us calibrate and navigate through treacherous ebb and flow of time.
Visiting our past can make our story come to life placing us into the vortex of the moment to enjoy food, prayer, music, success and laughter as we wade through the tears of despair. We can renew and develop our resolve to confront the dilemmas that face us now which are tragically similar to the dilemmas one hundred years ago.
The first half of the twentieth century is personally fascinating and historically amazing. Advances in industry, culture, social change and lifestyle occurred at the fastest pace in the history of mankind.
It is not my intention to cover everything that occurred in the twentieth century, but rather to give a taste to some significant events and joyful moments.
To my parents