Janus Adams, An Unsung Hero of Black Women
The anniversary of the death of George Floyd has sent me deeply searching for brands, businesses, and public figures that are building up the Black community. Ma’Khia Bryant’s murder is only the most recent event in the series of episodes depicting the problems faced by black Americans. These events have sent shockwaves around the world; however, we’re starting to question how many are still as determined to stand for change as they claim to be a year ago. And even more, how many people were fighting for racial justice, equality, and empowerment long before it was the cool thing to do? On my journey for answers, I came across a woman whose intentions have always been clear. Dr. Janus Adams, author, historian, and Emmy award-winning journalist, has remained vigilant in her goals to push the Black community forward.
Dr. Adams is the author of eleven books and the creator of the BackPax children’s media. Although currently known for her public radio’s popular show, “The Janus Adams Show,” she was also a northern school desegregation pioneer at eight and holds the distinction of achieving her master’s degree from the nation’s first graduate degree in Black Studies.
Determined to make a difference, Dr. Adams sheds light upon areas she feels are worthy of more importance than what they are currently given. Adams compares American History to Swiss cheese due to the number of holes in it. She explains that these holes represent the parts of American History that we choose to leave out. The pieces that we feel would not be fitting enough. For this reason, Adams expresses that she feels American History is not entirely authentic.
Janus Adams and the Unsung heroes of the American History
Janus Adams has a great love for the unsung heroes of African American history. Adams talks about how in American History, the prime focus is mainly on the individuals who violently took leaps forward. They took aggressive steps to express their opinions or raise their voices. However, no light is shed upon the ones that silently progressed towards their goals. It seems as if violence, aggression, rage, and war are the only areas that are worthy of mention. Ones that commit these acts are the only heroes. However, in reality, some individuals have peacefully brought about changes in American History. They’ve done this through their dedication, persistence, hard work, and ability to adapt. These individuals are equally worthy of mention, and Adams wants to ensure that they get it. Adams feels this issue begins at the root level in our schools. Our syllabus doesn’t teach us authentic History. Our historical record consists of half-truth and half details about the American past. What is even more upsetting to her is that everyone is aware of American History’s manipulation, yet they choose to keep their eyes and mouths shut in its face.
For this reason, Janus wrote her trademark book Sister Days: 365 Inspired Moments of African American Women’s History. Having read the book, and I genuinely believe it is one of the best books written on the achievements of African American women. Packed full of stories of African American women who have overcome numerous obstacles to pursue their dreams, this written art is an invitation for all black women to keep the fight going.
A Gift From Janus: “Sister Days Mother/Daughter Book Club”
For six precious weeks — Janus will lead the Sister Days Mother/Daughter Book Club from May 9 through June 22 — women “sick and tired of being sick and tired” (in the words of Civil Rights shero, Fannie Lou Hamer) are taking time to prioritize self-love and self-care, resistance, resilience, restorative self-justice, and joy. Women across multiple generations will discuss the book with its centuries of life-affirming “advice”; support one another with candid and colorful testimonies of triumph; and partake in a virtual tour that follows in the footsteps of two mothers of the movement: Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman.
Starting May 25th, 2020, the day that George Floyd was murdered, businesses, influencers, and public figures alike were vowing their allegiance to the black community, but where were they before, and where are they now? Though much of their passion has since died down, we should take this time to celebrate our heroes who aren’t wearing capes. True to the cause and firm where she stands, it has been made clear that Dr. Janus Adams has earned her place in the American history books.
Register for the Sister Days Mother/Daughter Book Club today by visiting www.janusadams.com.