It's February! Which means, it's Black History Month! Black History Month is a month where we celebrate African American leaders and influencers that broke boundaries to gain freedom. When there were "White Only," signs, African American leaders chose to eliminate the normal, and give African Americans the chance to be equal.
In February 1926, Carter G. Woodson created the celebration of "Negro History Week," which pursued into Black History Month. I admit I give Mr. Wootson for creating this celebration. However, why should it be only one month, when the history of African Americans suffering from lynches and beatings was much longer than a month?
When we think of Black History, what comes to mind? Martin Luther King Jr. Malcolm X. Rosa Parks. We all know these names by heart. They always deserve a spot in Black History Month. However, that's not what this celebration is for. Black History Month is for celebrating the hidden figures that made an impact to gain their freedom. Ever heard of Claudette Colvin? She was 15 years old when she refused to give up her seat for a white man. What about Diane Nash? She was the head of the Freedom Riders. She made connections to Civil Rights leaders, to support the cause. Let's not forget Sir William Arthur Lewis. He was given the Nobel Peace Prize for his knowledge and work in Economics.
These unknown names deserve to be celebrated. Yet, if there is a group that deserves to be celebrated in black history, it's the African Americans who have been beaten, lynched, hosed down to be the change for the next generation to have the freedom to become better than the past. These types of events don't deserve to be celebrated for only one month.
As we fast forward to this generation, making black history is still relevant. For instance, Black Panther is one of the highest grossing movies of all time. If you ever look at the movie, it shows the demonstration of the origin of black history. Another example would be Marsai Martin, who is an actress, just made history by becoming one of the youngest executive producers in the industry.
Yet, black history doesn't have to be on the screen. For instance, "The Hate U Give," is a novel written by Angie Thomas, which discusses police brutality and protesting for change. This story shares the real events of black men and women who were killed under the police. History like this is not seen in a textbook. Yet, there is always room to learn.
Black History Month doesn't deserve one short month. It deserves every day, every minute, every second of our lives. Yet, it didn't start with the "White Only," signs. It starts with the Motherland, creating beautiful people to make changes. As an African American, this shows my ancestors fighting for freedom, so I don't have to. It's true, there is still racism and ignorance today. Yet, as I look back at what my people had to fight for, it makes me strive for the best.
To everyone who struggles with discrimination and hatred, just look at your history, and remember that you are a descendant of greatness. I challenge everyone to look beyond the history textbooks. I challenge you to celebrate black history every month. When an African American makes a difference by starring in a movie or giving to charity, that's Black History in the making. I challenge you to support local African American influencers, as they are the future of Black History.
Black History Month is every month because of the past of heartaches and discrimination deserves to be celebrated. African Americans faced adversities, yet they didn't give up the ide of freedom. History like this doesn't deserve one short month, and we shouldn't treat black history like it comes once a year, because Africans Americans are the backbone of our nation today.
It deserves to be celebrated every day because our people suffered for more than one month. Happy Black History! This month, every month, and for the rest of our lives.