Black History: Let’s Alter The Delivery

Kaylin Khusial

  Black History month is celebrated every February in order to highlight African American achievement such as fighting for civil rights, equality and highlighting the discrimination which still plagues the community. During this month African American advances and accomplishments are praised, as well as the contributions made to the history of the United States. Everyone has the opportunity to learn about unsung heroes, inventions and the Injustices once suffered by our race. While the creation of this month has served to teach many at least for a short while about Black history, the expansion of learning about Black history throughout the year is long overdue. 

From varietal adverserties, including years of slavery, hardships, and discrimination, African Americans lived difficult lives, which made it even more difficult to be successful in life. With the roots of slavery, African Americans were not even granted the right to read and write, or more generally have an education. Efforts to defeat slavery and then have to fight for basic human rights and liberties were diligent and did not happen overnight. Moreover, after overcoming these obstacles, achieving a majority of advances for the first time in the world was honorable, especially for a race that’s had major setbacks. 
The origins of Black History Month came to light in Chicago, September of 1915. As a product of the innovative interactions of historian Carter Godwin Woodson and the minister Jesse Edward Moorland, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) was founded.

This establishment prompted the extensive research and representation of significant advances produced by gifted and inventive African and African American figures throughout history. 

According to history.com, “The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926. The event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs and host performances and lectures.”

When the United States began to take a step forward past slavery and unfair, berational treatment of people of color alongside the powerful civil rights movement, mayors and policial leaders nationwide pronounced ‘Negro History Week’ yearly. Nearing the end of the 1960s, Negro History Week turned into Black History Month. It was not until 1976, that this month had officially been proclaimed recognizing black history.

In the month of February, teachers base their lessons on historical Black figures within history in an attempt to expose students to the hardships and successes they endured. Everyone celebrates black history for their own individual reasons, whether we are embracing our own roots and offering our respect to the reputational history of black figures. 

Although efforts are made to educate students on why Black History month is celebrated, not many truly understand why it is so significant. 

Harshini Deoroop uses black history month as a reminder of the strength of Africans/African Americans throughout the United States.

“I do not know much about why we celebrate black history, although I think we celebrate it because of our great ancestors who were slaves. We remember that time of hardship of what they went through to remind ourselves of those days, of our country; how strong it is and how much it is built to be,” said Deoroop. 

Students are quite aware of Black History Month and why they celebrate it, but not everyone has an exact idea of its origin. Kevin Mohamed shares his perspective.

“I don’t feel like black history is highlighted in the most ideal way because I never learned that much about black history,” said Mohamed. “I feel like teachers should introduce more lessons about black history and how it’s important.”

If students understood more about what exactly they are celebrating and why it is celebrated, they would be more engaged and intrigued with the different aspects that come with this special month. Also, students would be more aware of the significance surrounding this remembrance if it was emphasized how it is in the month of February, year-round.

Anaylsse Matias is familiar with the importance of black history and agrees that it should not be condensed into one month of the year.

“I think black history month should be celebrated every day of the year because history is important regardless of who left their legacy behind. It is important for everyone to be informed of it because us, people of color, do not get enough credit and/or recognition,” said Matias.

Having already passed February and it now being April, it makes it more obvious that already we hear less and less about Black achievements and more about the persecution that still continues. Although school systems only shed light upon this topic for a short period of time, you can continue to enlighten yourself on the rich history of African Americans. 

Barack Obama once said, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

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