Black History Month Must Stop

It's Black History month. A month dedicated to the American people in the U.S. to acknowledge the contributions African Americans have made to this country. These contributions include slavery, innovations, historical milestones, and government influences. At least that is what I got from it in school. Growing up in the U.S, I will confess, the idea of Black History month has always felt like an insult to me, especially after learning about American History, different Native American Histories, and West Indian History. Yet still, this is the month we dedicate to correcting white washed versions of US history, acknowledge Great Blackness in our country, and still to this day uncover Black contributions that had been kept out of U.S. history school programs.

Short History of Black History Month

In 1915, Carter G. Woodson, Alexander L. Jackson, William B. Hartgrove, James E. Stamps and George Cleveland Hall, joined together and founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) , which about 60 yrs later was renamed Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). This association was inspired after one of the founders attended a 3 week long national celebration of the 50th anniversary of Emancipation. Their goal was to encourage scholars to engage in the study of African American history. What started in 1924 as a week of Black Literature and History among the Omega Psi Phi college fraternity had grown, by 1976, into what we acknowledge today as Black History Month.

Thanks to this association, we continue to find Black History treasures to share with our society. These treasures continue to be shared amongst scholars, leaders and trickles down to the people of society in different ways; teachers who make it their duty to properly educate, reports or stories scattered across the internet, social media influencers and sometimes mainstream media. Black History month has contributed, over the years, to making our government and laws progressive. Even with it's accomplishments, it is only given 1 month out of the year and is not a mandatory study in our school system. This, to me, is insulting.

In 1976, U.S. President, Gerald Ford asked the American people to participate in Black History Month, and every president after would do the same, encourage Americans to participate in the observance of February as Black History Month. February was chosen as the month of Black History because Abraham Lincoln (The U.S. president who issued the Emancipation Proclamation) and Frederick Douglas (The African American abolitionist, author, and orator) were both born in that month. They were both celebrated in the Black community on their birthdays (February 12th and 14th) for their contributions to African American Liberation and Civil Rights. This is not only Black History. This is U.S. History, and it should be given more study throughout the year rather than an acknowledgement solely in February or 5 pages in a history book.

The End of Black History Month

From the 1860's, our Black community has been celebrating historic moments, such as Slave rebellions and the Emancipation proclamation, that have contributed to U.S history. The USA acknowledges these historic moments not only because they were major turning points in history, but also because black communities consistently acknowledged them. Without our black communities efforts to identify and bring recognition to black historic moments, US history continues to be miseducated, leaving out black important roles and movements while highlighting injustices as accomplishments. This act of misrepresenting US history empowers Black History Month to correct the misinformation and reeducate those in society who choose to learn the truth.

With the efforts of Black History Month, we are coming to the part of it's time line where proper integration into US history should be mandatory. The history of where African Americans came from should be made completely clear, that their ancestry is not solely from African slave trade or African Tribe kidnappings, but also from the kidnapping of Native Americans and West Indians. The genocides of different tribes across America and the Caribbean is an ugly but true part of the beginning of U.S history that many are unaware of. Slavery and it's revolts should not be sugar coated or removed from history books in efforts to emphasize the benefits slavery brought to the U.S. and it's Southern State Wealth. The many African American leaders whose lives were made short because of there efforts to fight for equality should be in our history books. The Race Massacres that devastated black communities in different American cities from 1873 - 1923 solely because African Americans were establishing a successful economic society on their own should also be taught in our schools. These parts of history, primarily shared during Black History Month, should be in our History books.

The point of teaching history in schools, and anyone can correct me if I am wrong, is to understand how our past has shaped our present. Now is an important time when we should put this type of understanding in our school system. Our 45th president has done an excellent job at shedding light on the behaviors of people who do not have the understanding of Black History in U.S History. The 4 years lived under that presidency will go down in history as one of the worst points in American history. There was so much that happened under that presidency to make it one of the worst historical blunders of the U.S, but it's mistreatment with people of color was at the top of the list, globally!

Like any bad point in history, one goal after we have survived it is to prevent it from happening again. Properly educating our youth throughout the year, with Black History correctly outlined in U.S History books, we can look forward to better outcomes in our future as a country. Keeping Black History Month as a national month to observe the parts of U.S History that includes black people is no longer acceptable. We need our youth of all colors and cultures to be educated for the sake and unity of our country. Segregation ended with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but yet it still exist in our educational system when teaching U.S history. The number '45' is a significant number in the year 2021 for the Black Community and the U.S. The U.S country has removed it's worst president ever, 45th, while Black History month is on it's 45th anniversary. Let us continue to allow our scholars and leaders to acknowledge Black History month in efforts to make our country great, but include what we've found over the past 45 yrs in our school curriculum throughout the school year, so that our youth is caught up on the correct information of U.S History by the time it is their turn to lead our country. It's time for Black History Month to evolve.

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