Black History Month is an event that is recognized every year in the month of February. Many people take issue with this fact for several reasons. Why only one month? Why must it be the shortest month of the year? Shouldn’t Black History be taught progressively throughout regular history?
Because of the circumstances surrounding Black history many people may feel that the celebrated month is merely an olive branch to the Black community. A small gesture if you will to make sure that Black history is recognized but only in a small burst. At least, this is the impression I get from some. For me personally, I do not find it to be so.
I find Black History Month to be constructive, humbling and essential to our education. Putting aside a whole month dedicated to the accomplishments, adversity and triumphs of African-Americans is a good thing.
I myself am Hispanic. And it is my opinion that Black history is essential to our learning in school because it affects us all, no matter how ugly, sad or hard it may be to study it.
It is important African-American citizens know where they come from just as any other race does. However, Black history is not strictly all about African-Americans, as it is well-known during the time of slavery that the “White man” had a very significant role to play.
This part of Black history can be a hard pill to swallow for some but it must be acknowledged. While this doesn’t mean America simply has to punish themselves for all eternity for the injustice of the past, we also cannot simply turn a blind eye to it.
We must teach our youth about ALL of our history. Not just the nice parts of it.
We love to go on and on about the first Black pilot or entrepreneur but have a hard time talking about the atrocities slaves endured at the hands of their masters. We cannot be afraid to celebrate Black history.
Our history classes don’t hesitate to describe very gritty detail of the Holocaust but hate to acknowledge our own mistakes.
Black history may only be recognized for one month but think of it this way, it is one month every year for the rest of our lives. Since elementary school we have learned about countless Black figures in history.
Every year we rehash a lot of the same Black History but as we mature we are entrusted with a certain amount more than what we knew before. Even as college students we continue to learn more about our Black history.
And for those who don’t attend school, it is nearly impossible not to see some kind of Black History related material on television or the Internet.
We all need Black History, as American citizens it is our duty to learn about our past.