Why We Need Black History Month

Black History Month began this past Monday, February 1st. Black History Month was initially designed to acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of black people throughout the century. The month was first created in 1915 by Carter G. Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland, the holiday was initially called “Negro Week” the second week in February where both President Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglas, but then was changed to officially to an entire month in 1976. Since 1976 every president of the United States has considered February the month of Black History (History Channel).

The following are some reasons why we still need Black History Month:

Donald Trump is Running for President. If you don’t know already, millionaire Donald John Trump is running for president. He has proven to be racist, sexist, and xenophobic. His comments consist of “building a wall” in order to keep immigrants out, and his continual sexist jibes towards democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Trump has a  Republican Caucus Average of 28.6% (Real Clear Politics) showing that he clearly has supporters. When a candidate with such racist views can be so greatly backed in a country that is supposed to provide “liberty and justice for all” this shows a real problem. If race issues were properly acknowledged and resolved a candidate like Donald Trump would have no chance of getting into office. The fact that he is greatly supported is just one of the reasons that we need take time to represent and dedicate a month to representing a group of people that are still oppressed in today’s society.

Black History is Not Properly Reviewed During the School Year:  During the school year African History is not thoroughly reviewed. Many curriculums are designed to teach Roman History, Greek History, Latin History, and of course European History. However, our study of American history seems to be leave out an awful lot of Black history. According to Teaching Tolerance 35 states received a failing grade for teaching Civil Rights History and Black History. Some may feel that teaching black history is emphasizing the disunity that took over America for a long time. However, Black History played a fundamental role in the developing of nations all over the world including the United States.

“Why Don’t We Have White History Month?” Continues to Be a Question Ignorant People ask.

Many people feel uncomfortable with the idea of black history month, arguing that it is a mechanism of division or could possibly be setting the country back and adding to disunity. One of the most popular knee-jerk responses to Black History month is “Why don’t we have White History Month?” What they are failing to realize is that, really, the other 9 months of the school year, white history is constantly taught at schools and highlighted elsewhere, while black history is minimized or trivialized. Black people in this nation endured a nearly 300 year period of oppression, but some people were able to rise above adversity and do wonderful things for not only black people, but many other people.

Black History was never intended to make people uncomfortable, but to inform, celebrate, and highlight the accomplishments of black Americans. Throughout the month the brave men and women are to be celebrated for their talents, inventions, and strong will.

A local resident of Fort Drum, senior Tea Smith says “We need black history month because we’re constantly told [by the media] that we are inferior and told that we don’t have many achievements but when you look through black history you see that we have done major things. We helped change a lot of things that in one point in time we didn’t think would change. There was a time where we didn’t think we wouldn’t have some semblance of equality to white people. Although we are not completely equal we have come far because of the people throughout black history.” Black History, just as all history, needs to be acknowledged and respected.