The following thoughts have been stirred by Black History Month.

The struggle for liberation is something we all experience as we strain against the chains that bind us, both real and imaginary. Justice and civil rights have always been important to me. It was only when black Americans won their battle for freedom that white Americans became free. It was through the liberation of women that men became liberated.

I am grateful to live in the same world as Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Sidney Poitier and Oprah Winfrey who have shown us that it is possible to achieve greatness against all odds. I experienced irrepressible joy when Barack Obama became President of the United States.

My hope for our country is that we don't succumb to fear in this troubled world. That we continue to pursue peace and nurture the belief that love can transcend violence and evil.

Respectfully submitted,

Yvonne Nyenhuis,