Update from an “Everyday Patriot”: John A.’s Thoughts this Black History Month
February 23, 2023
February 23, 2023
In celebration of Black History Month this year, Cold War Patriots caught up with John A., one of our former “Everyday Patriots” who we profiled back in February of 2021. You can read more about his life story in our original post here, and what an incredible life it has been! John was hired right out of college by the Hanford Facility in Richland, Washington as a Chemist. John worked at Hanford for the DOE for the next 28 years with roles including Supervisor, Equal Opportunity Coordinator, and Senior Specialist in Labor Relations. In his final years, he returned to chemistry as a Lab Manager.
Now retired, John produces a blog and podcasts where he focuses on telling the overlooked and undocumented stories of accomplishment in Black History. John is passionate about highlighting the many uncelebrated accomplishments of Black Americans that have been excluded from the fabric of American and world history.
CWP: We last profiled you as our Cold War Patriots Everyday Patriot back in February of 2021 – what have you been up to since then?
With my blog and podcasts, my great hope and mission is to provide a resource that will fill in some of the major gaps in our history, particularly regarding Black Americans and their experiences in this country. We often hear that we must learn from our mistakes in history, or we risk repeating them, but I find this to be only partially true. We must also accept and educate all Americans that our “history” as we know it is not always based on fact. We can build pride in all members of our society, but to do so we must first broadly acknowledge that this country was built upon an imperfect system that has created great inequality.
CWP: Do you have any new projects in the works that we should know about?
My newest blog is called “Did You Know…? Success Leaves Footprints” and is devoted to discussions of the kind I just described. We have an outdated and inaccurate American ideal that insists on a very narrow view of what a “hero” can look like. Our future depends on getting the best from our citizens and the way to do that is to show that true heroes are all around us, and come from different races, nationalities, and genders. We need to face the fact that everything in our past has not been perfect but that we can work towards a better future of equality and opportunity. During March, we will produce a mini-series of 31 posts of extraordinary Black women that everyone should know about.
CWP: As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, are there any new ways that you think about the world that you’d like to share?
As life continues to return to normal, we must realize that we are a country immensely rich in human resources. However, many in our nation have come to view race as something we should never talk about because it makes some people uncomfortable. That needs to change; we need to understand that the discomfort is not because it is somehow taboo, but because we have been indoctrinated into considering it so. I believe that, if there is discomfort, that means there is a chance of correcting the problem. It is time to recognize that there are many talented people of all races, genders, and religious beliefs in these United States of America. We don’t have to all belong to one group and witnessing that someone has overcome incredible challenges should provide motivation for us all. While we recognize the best of the best, we all benefit from working together to solve problems that affect all humans.
CWP: Any goals you’ve set for 2023?
At some point and based upon the ideas in my blog and podcasts, I’d like to write one or more books dedicated to motivating and inspiring all of our great American people with the belief that we can overcome all of our differences by focusing on the human emotions, hopes and dreams make us similar in so many ways. It is our shared humanity, rather than our individual differences like race, gender and ethnicity that is our greatest strength.