Importance of black history month

We hear about the poverty rates, incarceration rates, and high school drop out rates. Some argue it is unfair to devote an entire month to a single people group. To what would surely be the lament of many historic African American leaders, my students and so many others including me take for granted the rights that many people before them sweated, bled, and died to secure.

Black history month people

He did not appreciate the value of tradition; and where is he today? Despite the time difference in their creation, Black History Month in the US and the UK share a common vision and purpose: to battle a sense of historical amnesia and remind all citizens that black people were also a contributing part of the nation. It was organised through the leadership of Ghanaian analyst Akyaaba Addai-Sebo , who had served as a coordinator of special projects for the Greater London Council GLC and created a collaboration to get it underway. Contemplating Black history draws people of every race into the grand and diverse story of this nation. President of the United States of America. As scholars and political figures in both nations question the impact and importance of a month dedicated to one community, it is important to assess if Black History Month still matters. Or who could not continue to struggle after listening to the mother of Emmitt Till share her story of sadness and perseverance. It was eerie how relevant those words are today. In , the Smithsonian Institution, about to open an exhibition that included slavery, decided to survey 10, Americans. While African Americans have few traditions of giving material to museums, it is crucial that more of the black past make it into American cultural repositories. The goal was twofold: to inspire and instil pride of self and community among young black people; and to help each country confront the problem of racial discrimination through greater understanding, by making the black past accessible and meaningful to the broader white community.

All too often it seems as though only the worst of the African American community gets reported. Black History Month is important because it brings us together.

Black history month criticism

I resented the university using Black History Month to hold black-focused panels and events that were otherwise nonexistent. As a historian, I have always felt that slavery is an African American success story because we found ways to survive, to preserve our culture and our families. Woodson , a Harvard-trained historian is credited with the creation of Negro History Week. In conclusion, Black History Month matters. A good example is the Smithsonian, when the National Museum of American History wanted to mount an exhibition on slavery, it found it did not have any objects that described slavery. Slavery is also ripe with heroes, such as slaves who ran away or rebelled, like Harriet Tubman or Denmark Vessey, but equally important are the forgotten slave fathers and mothers who raised families and kept a people alive. Both months were envisioned as a way to counter the invisibility of black people and to challenge the negative imagery and stereotypes that were often the only manner black people were depicted in popular culture and in the media. It took place during the second week of February because it coincided with the birthdates of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. The s saw the rise in interest in African American culture that was represented by the Harlem Renaissance where writers like Langston Hughes, Georgia Douglass Johnson, Claude McKay—wrote about the joys and sorrows of blackness, and musicians like Louie Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Jimmy Lunceford captured the new rhythms of the cities created in part by the thousands of southern blacks who migrated to urban centers like Chicago. When we observe Black History Month, we give citizens of all races the opportunity to learn about a past and a people of which they may have little awareness. Pioneers of color who defied all odds to achieve their dreams, built a better future for the next generation and yet, their stories remain untold. And by challenging those notions, an environment could be created that was more conducive to combating racism. Woodson but in was expanded to a full week by President Gerald Ford. Of course, I took all the relevant history classes in elementary and high school, but much of black history has been left out or whitewashed in our history books.

One concern is that the inclusion of black history will discredit the accuracy of history as well as exclude the crucial parts, and distract children from what really matters when they enter their desired careers. Lonnie Bunch.

why is black history month important essay

It is my hope that with greater focus and collaboration Black History Month can stimulate discussion about a subject that both divides and embarrasses. As some families lose the connection with their southern roots, it is imperative that we understand our common heritage and history.

why is it important to teach african american history

Black History Month is reminder of how far we have come and how far we have to go as a nation. While we should know the lives of Harriet Tubman or Rosa Parks, we should also recognise those often left out of our narrative of celebrity; such as those who laboured in the textile mills in the north of England, or those who participated in the Bristol bus boycott.

The pearl white walls were decorated with iconic black art.

Black history month 2019

Woodson had two goals. I experience the African American past when I think of my grandfather choosing to leave the South rather than continue to experience share cropping and segregation. For me, Black History Month should still matter; it is still the useful tool in the struggle for racial fairness that Woodson envisioned over 90 years ago. Hopefully a renewed Black History Month can focus attention on the importance of preserving African American culture. The beauty in Black History Month is we can all celebrate in different ways that are meaningful to us as individuals. She needed the book to help her prepare for added responsibilities at work. The impact of African-Americans on this country - as well as Asians, Latinos, Mexicans, and other races - is a part of us all and taking the time to remember the contributions of African American's to our great country ties everyone into the diverse history of our world. The goal was twofold: to inspire and instil pride of self and community among young black people; and to help each country confront the problem of racial discrimination through greater understanding, by making the black past accessible and meaningful to the broader white community. And though our communities are quite diverse, it is our common heritage that continues to hold us together. Johnson, who was a former sharecropper I interviewed in Georgetown, SC: Though the slaves were bought, they were also brave. While there are many reasons and examples that I could point towards, let me raise five concerns or challenges that African Americans — in fact — all Americans — face that black history can help address: The Challenge of Forgetting You can tell a great deal about a country and a people by what they deem important enough to remember, to create moments for — what they put in their museum and what they celebrate. Which in some ways makes it difficult for many to relate to. All of the college students my mother mentored were black women.

Spoiler alert! To Woodson, the black experience was too important simply to be left to a small group of academics.

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Black History Month