Black History Month has always been the subject of criticism from both Blacks and people of other races. Many feel and argue that it is unfair to devote the entire month to just one particular group. Others are excellent, overjoyed that Black History gets celebrate throughout the entire year. With setting aside one month it gives people the opportunity to neglect our history for the other 11 months.
I recently had the opportunity to create a four part series that was able to educate, promote and celebrate our historic leaders of the black community. I was able to provide our listeners with stories of those times and also give them an opportunity to commemorate their achievements.
African American culture and communities get so much negative outlooks from poverty rates, incarceration rates, and high school dropout rates that we immune to that perception. We think that our leaders of today and tomorrow are from images of unruly athletes and raunchy reality TV stars that we see every day. We think these people are paradigms of success for Black people.
In our daily lives we are subject to unfair stereotypes and assumptions from a culture that in some aspects we are still learning to accept us and our history.
Black History month provides us the chance to focus on different aspects of our narrative as African Americans. It spurs us to seek out and lift up the best in African American accomplishments.
We can applaud Shirley Chisholm for becoming the first black elected to the U.S. Congress. We can also applaud Barbara Johnson for becoming the first African American elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction. We can also applaud Colin Kaepernick for his brave activism.
Our history is often lost in the mists of time and when we observe Black History Month we give citizens of all races the opportunity to learn about a past and people. Sometimes it is troubling when people overlook the month because Black History Month belongs to all of us black, white, men and women, young and old.
The impact that we have made to this country is part of our collective consciousness. Contemplating Black History draws people of every race into the grand and diverse story of this nation that we helped built.
Let’s make a promise to our children and ourselves that we will celebrate our blackness every 365 days of the year.