Why Black History Month Is More Than A Month

Why Black History Month Is More Than A Month

Its not Black History its American History.
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When people think of black history month they either ask the questions: "Why do they get a whole month?" Or "Why is black history month the shortest month?"

Black history month originally started as a week, it all started with Carter G Woodson. Woodson started this because he felt that Black Americans were overlooked and ignored by history textbooks and teachers. So he started a black history week in 1926, which lead to teachers noticing the contributions that Black Americans had on American history. It was later when the president thought it was a good idea to have a black history month.

February was the month that was chosen because it has the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglas, which Woodson believed they had a huge impact on the rights of Black Americans.

Some people talk about how when it's Black History month they learn about the same five people, and I have to agree. When I was in elementary school, my teachers tried to do at least one lesson the first day of February. But it was always the same lesson; Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks-- what about Emmett Till and the bus boycott that was before the Montgomery boycott. I learned most of my history from my family and I think if you really wanted to know about the civil rights fight you would have to do research by yourself.

I saw this video once that was about the world without black history month. The video talked about how without Black Americans we would have missed out on advancements of cell phone technology, game consoles, personal computers, shoe making techniques, country music, a pacemaker for the heart, the first successful open heart surgery, and several other things. The link to the video is here.

That video brought up things that I didn't know that made me want to know more about certain things. Maybe if we learned more about the inventions of Black Americans and not just Rosa Parks or slavery, then we wouldn't need the title Black history month; because that's all Black History month is; a title to a month.

Black history month isn't a month ONLY for Black Americans it's for EVERYONE. I like to think of Black History month as American History month because of the contribution from my ancestors that changed America.

Black history month isn't about Black people, it's not supposed to praise all the black people around you. Black history month was made to shine a little light on what Black Americans did to help change America for what we know it as today.

Black history month is a reminder for people that you can overcome the pain and the sadness and be beautiful. It reminds people that hope can take you a long way.

Cover Image Credit: blackhistory

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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.

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As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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I Gave Up My Lifelong Dream, But This Is Where It Led Me

Dreams do come true, but sometimes they're disguised when you see them in the light.

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I come to you as a rising junior in college, and as a much more complacent student than I once was.

When I started my freshman year of college, I was attending a private university in a small town. Going into this new chapter of my life, I really wasn't sure of what I should study. I had a lot in mind but didn't think it through very clearly. In the end, because my family works in this industry, I chose Business Administration as my major. I also did (and still do) love Psychology so I made that my minor.

Though these decisions weren't set in stone and I was fresh out of high school, I had a career in mind that I've been wanting to pursue since my elementary school years. That career was a veterinarian.

I have the strongest passion for animals, and any one of my friends or family can vouch for me. I fall in love with dogs, cats and small animals like hamsters, guinea pigs, birds, etc. I've owned dogs since I was about 3 years old and have grown up alongside animals for my entire life. There's obviously a part of me that wants to do something with animals very much. Preferably helping them to stay healthy and live their best lives.

I decided after switching my major twice already that I was going to finally pursue this passion I had gleaming inside of me. Switching over to Biology, I began my journey.

Ready to study my butt off and do my best work, I dove right into my sophomore year of college at a new university, and with completely new faces and a new environment. Early on though, I began to notice that I was struggling. Nothing out of the ordinary, these classes were science courses and I had never had a strength for science or math.

But the struggling overcame me, and I decided that I'd need to really study and quiz myself for these exams if I wanted to even pass the classes. Once again, nothing new, I just figured that I needed to really buckle down.

As I continued to go about my studies, my science classes were getting more and more difficult for me to keep my head above water in. I was also (and still am) working a part-time job, so that also limited my time in the evenings to study.

Eventually, I made the decision that I couldn't continue to study biology. The major was becoming too difficult for me very early on, and if that was how the entire rest of my college years were going to be, there wasn't any reason for me to continue to pay for classes that I wasn't going to pass.

Giving up my dream of becoming a veterinarian shattered my heart. I had little to no idea what I was going to change my major to, nor did I know what it is that I'm even good at or what department I strive in the most. And then it hit me.

It kind of hit me like a wall. All throughout my schooling years, I had blatantly ignored how talented I am at writing. It's where all of my strength lies. I have a way with words and poetry and was starting to see the picture more lively. I'd chosen to study Journalism.

Although this was not ultimately my first choice, I've thought about it and stuck with the decision for some time now; but in the end, I decided that this is what I was destined to do with myself. Writing, editing, rhetoric and proper spelling and grammar are what revolve around me. Becoming a writer or chief editor for a popular newspaper or magazine is what my new career goal is, and I can't wait to put it into play this fall.

There still is and will always be resentment toward giving up what I've dreamt of doing. But luckily for me, there are things that I can do where I can still be interacting with animals and smiling as much as I still do being around them.

Next to studying and working part-time, I've decided that with the free time that I have, I'm going to volunteer my time at a local animal shelter, helping to find animals homes before being euthanized (primarily, instead of being euthanized). I have pets at home to take care of which I find great joy in doing as well.

Even though I can't become a veterinarian, I can still do what I love. And because of my drastic decisions that I've made, I am where I am today. A happy college student who is overly excited about studying while still following a passion.

Here's to the future.

Photo by Octavian Rosca

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