February is Black History Month in Canada and the United States. In honour of the event,  Concordia Publishing House is drawing attention to the legacy of Rosa Young. Born May 4, 1874, Young would be instrumental in the founding of a number of educational institutions for black Americans in Alabama. She’s also known as “the mother of black Lutheranism.”

In her letters, Rosa Young reflects on how she first became involved with the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. She had opened her first school to much success. But as the student population continued to grow, it became necessary for her to raise additional financial support. She contacted Booker T. Washington, hoping he might be able to point her in the right direction. His response, in Young’s own words, was as follows:

“In this letter he told me he was unable to help me in the least; but he would advise me to write to the Board of Colored Missions of the Lutheran Church. He said they were doing more for the colored race than any other denomination he knew of. He liked them because of the religious training which they were giving the colored people.”

Rosa Young did contact the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. And the rest, as they say, is history. To hear more about Rosa Young’s legacy, check out the following video from Concordia Publishing House: