Black History Month
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It’s February, so that must mean its Black History Month. It’s during this month that we really get
On the cover:
David Oyelowo in Selma
Selma is a 2014 American historical drama film directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb. It is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by James Bevel, Hosea Williams, and Martin Luther King, Jr. of SCLC and John Lewis of SNCC. The film stars David Oyelowo as King and Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon Johnson. ©2017 Archives
Why There Needs To Be A Black History Month
Some people seem to believe that Black History month is nothing but a divisive tool and that every race should be celebrated. It sounds fair, however, this perception doesn’t do black history justice. The purpose of this month is not to divide the people of this country, but its purpose is to point out how much black people have gone through and yet, still overcame major obstacles. From inventors, to former slaves, to Civil Rights Leaders, to entertainers. It’s important to see how most of these significant figures lived through a time where they literally had nothing in their favor and somehow still managed to make incredible strides for blacks living in this country today. Figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks deserve to be celebrated and not to be belittled. And if their accomplishments are reduced down to being included and celebrated in a month, so be it.
A common habit in most Americans seems to be bias towards a way of thinking. We only perceive things through our perspective and not another’s. It becomes so hard to even fathom another perspective that isn’t our own. So, we resort to this simplistic mentality that ‘I’m right and you’re wrong.’ So when it comes to the celebration of Black History, instead of seeing the need to celebrate it, it is only seen by some as a divisive tool or even unnecessary. Blacks have been told to ‘get over it’ or ‘it’s in the past.’ Yet, history is not something we are supposed to get over. Not only should we embrace history, but we should never forget it or get over it. We see history every time we walk outside or encounter people on the streets. It’s literally everywhere. And given the long history of this country, especially pertaining to how Blacks were treated, it should never be forgotten. It should be remembered to not only inform the younger generations but adults as well. Black history is not the history of Blacks, but Black history is American history. So, that only leaves one question, and it’s not ‘why does there need to be a Black History Month?’ but ‘Why are people so offended by American history?’
Black History Month often sparks an annual debate about the continued usefulness and fairness of a designated month dedicated to the history of one race. Criticism include questions over whether it is appropriate to confine the celebration of black history to one month, as opposed to integration of black history into the mainstream education the rest of the year. Another criticism is that contrary to the original inspiration for Black History Month, which was a desire to redress the manner in which British schools failed to represent black historical figures as anything other than slaves or colonial subjects, Black History Month reduces complex historical figures to overly simplified objects of hero worship. Another criticism, usually leveled by whites, is that the celebration is racist.
Black celebrities such as actor and director Morgan Freeman and actress Stacey Dash have criticized Black History Month, with Freeman saying, "I don't want a black history month. Black history is American history." Freeman has argued that there was no White History Month, because white people did not want their history relegated to just one month.
Ashley Brisbon, : Ashley Brisbon is a current law student and Juris Doctor candidate of May 2017. She holds a Political Science degree from Augusta State University and currently attends Charlotte School of Law as a 3L student. She plans to practice law in the areas of contracts and corporate. (more...)