Yes! Black History Month is here again. Believe it or not, there was a time when there was only a Black History Week. However, progressive as that may seem, there are budding elements coming largely, but not solely from the African American community that suggest that Black History Month as separate singular concept in lore of American history is no longer needed.
Well, I can tell you that no other ethnic or racial group in America is talking down the significance of their history or heritage. In fact, there are celebrated holidays and religious observances that are part of the yearly American calendar. Think of St. Patrick’s Day (Irish), Cinco de Mayo (Mexican), Columbus Day (Italian), Yom Kippur (Jewish) to name a few.
So why is it important that people of color recognize and celebrate Black History Month? First of all, Black History is only a month-long recognition. Celebrated in February, Black History Month has the fewest days in a twelve month calendar.
To be sure, it is critically important that people of color take an edgy stance towards continuing the recognition of Black History Month. Including the overall concept of acknowledging the history of people of color throughout the year.
The larger American society has yet to give full recognition to the many contributions people of color have made to the development and growth of this country. Rarely do you hear or read about the historical contributions that people of color have made to America. Think of the works of a George Washington Carver. A scientist and agronomist whose ideas and concepts saved southern plantation agriculture from a sure demise in the early days of the twentieth century.
Many of today’s political and social issues are not new. You will find that many of the “issues” of current times were faced by our ancestors, albeit under different circumstances. They found a way to overcome many of these issues.In fact, some found a way to genuine prosperity.
Reading and studying the ideas, works, and movements of our fore-parents and ancestors who fought and paved the way for people of color to be free from slavery and apartheid-like living conditions is an eternal lesson…never to be forgotten.