By Nikkel Mitchell
It is said that there is a Black History Month so that the important achievements that African Americans have made throughout history can be acknowledged. What doesn’t make sense is why there is a secluded month when the achievements and contributions that white men and women have made in history are taught all throughout the year. The month of February, also known as Black History Month is usually a month full of acknowledgement and respect, but black history should not be dimmed down into just one month, when there is a lifetime of knowledge behind the history. We should get rid of the month-long holiday and acknowledge all black history all year long.
According to history.com, Black History Month began as Negro History Week and it was created in 1926 by Carter Woodson, an African American historian, scholar, educator and publisher. It then became a month long celebration in 1976. The month of February was chosen to occur alongside the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
Some people think that we should get rid of Black History Month all together, and that is exactly what we want. We need to get rid of Black History month all together because history does not stop after just one month. African Americans want to be able to get rid of Black History Month, without black history being ignored. Black history needs to be acknowledged. We want integration, not segregation.
Our culture deserves to be appreciated, and expanded upon throughout the year to inform students and anyone willing to listen, and even the close-minded people who are not willing to listen. People of color, especially African Americans, have been through so much hatred and discrimination, and are still going through many hardships, such as slavery, police brutality, everyday discrimination and racism, etc. We deserve to have our culture broadcast all year long.
After the month of February is over, we rarely brush back up on our facts and teach black history in the schools. Education itself should include different races and help make the students feel proud, and educated about their cultural differences. Every student should know about Martin Luther King Jr. and his dream, but students need to be taught all year long about the many different contributions and sacrifices that have been made by the many different individuals that had a role in helping make that dream a reality. African Americans like Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, Althea Gibson, Serena Williams, former president Barack Obama, and more individuals deserve to be appreciated for their contributions to history.
Turning this month-long celebration into an everyday learning experience would help African Americans feel included in the conversation, especially African American students, so that they can become educated on their cultural background, without feeling excluded from the other students, because black history is American history.
Even though we have a month, people still question why we would want more, why would we need more than just one month dedicated to black history? Some people even argue that there is no white history month, and that is because we do not need a separate month dedicated to white history, when we learn about white history everyday. Black history is rarely talked about and, I think we need all year long, because history does not stop after one month. History cannot be summed up into just 28 or 29 days. We deserve to be as equal as everybody else, and we can’t be equal with just one secluded month.
Black history focuses on one thing, and that’s history. We do not need a full month when we could easily have it all year round. Personally, I would like to live to see Black History Month terminated and instead have black history included with regular history. All history, no matter what race, should be thought of as history, because it is.
Black history is American history.