Is Black History Month Necessary?

February 18, 2016


I hear many say that there is no need for a black anything, Black History month, BET, black lives matter moment etc.. They say that this is only separating the black race from every other race. After all there is no white month or white channel, all lives matter not just blacks, right?


Just the other day I asked my daughter what she was learning in history at her school. Do you know what her answer was? “We are learning about pioneers." Pioneers from the 1800's. That's fine but we are in the middle of February and nothing about Black Americans has been taught at her school. Why are so many schools not teaching about the achievements that blacks have contributed to this nation? It is Black History Month, right?  So the question becomes, is Black History month necessary? Are we just placing more importance on one race over others?


In 1926 Carter G. Woodson an African American who was a historian, educator and publisher, established "Negro History Week." He saw the lack of recognition or the misrepresentation of black's role in the history books. This week was meant to make us aware of blacks’ contributions and achievements in history. In 1976, officially "Negro History Week" became a month long celebration known as Black History Month. The month of February was chosen to coincide with Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln's birthdays.


I believe that the intent of Black History Month was not to show that the black race was superior to other races but to show that blacks are just important and equal in value like every other race but were not getting any recognition. 


Blacks in American have came a long way since 1926. From Jim Crow, to the Civil Rights Movement, to electing the first president of African descent. We have come a long way but we are only deceiving ourselves if we think that everything now is on an equal playing field. The very purpose for Black History Month's existence is to bring awareness of Blacks achievements. It's 2016 and my daughter's school is still not even mentioning Black Americans in their history books not even in the month of February. So I ask you, do you think Black History Month is necessary?


All lives do matter, including black lives. The purpose of the Black Lives Matter movement is to make known that a black person’s life is just as important as others but are not being treated that way. So I say when Lewis Latimer's contribution is mentioned alongside Thomas Edison in the history books. When Benjamin Banneker and countless of other blacks that have made American what is today are mentioned in the everyday history books and not just highlighted in the month of February. Then I will say that Black History month isn't needed. When a movie that has a majority black cast and has a good story that appeals to all people isn't automatically placed in the "Black movie" category but the great movie category. Then I will say that BET isn't necessary. When blacks that make up 12% of the US population but people of color make up 60% of prison--when those numbers change. Then I will say that the Black Lives Movement isn't necessary.  


In conclusion, quoting Martin Luther King Jr. "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." OK, I don't have four little children, just three but his words still ring true. We have made great strides as a nation but to say that we have arrived would be a lie. We still have work to do.


Harmony will be achieved. If not on this earth, it will be in heaven. Every race will be joined in unity as brothers and sisters praising God, where a person's color will not be a concern or thought. Is Black History month still necessary? It pains me to say it but yes it still is.







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