Growing up, I enjoyed attending the Black History Month programs at my schools. The music, the art, and reenactments of moments in African American history, just seemed so exciting and exotic in a sense. Maybe because it was not really spoken of until Febuary the first came rolling around. So it was not too hard to find that my excitement waned the older I got. I still had a strong love for my culture, do not get me wrong; however, I began to see the implications of something that was not morally right. My race, a big piece of this nation, was being confined to being celebrated twenty-eight, twenty-nine if we are lucky, days within a whole year.
How can a history so influential be diminished to being worthy of only a month out of 365 days? Is that all we are to this nation? A measly month? Is that how they see not only this race, but the others as well? Are we just inferior pawns within the history of the United States that cannot be placed on the same pedestal as say Caucasians? Some great, innovative achievements have come from African Americans; stop lights, fans, and refrigerators are just a few that we use in our daily lives, yet their creators remain unsung. Although my people have brought magnificent change to our nation, their existence seems insignificant.
We, African Americans, are here and have been present for almost all of the most pivotal moments in American history. From the civil war to the World Wars, we have always been there. Fighting battles constantly for a country that does not even value us enough to commemorate our accomplishments. Although to many, they believe that a month is satisfactory enough to give accolades to all the African Americans who have achieved and brought prosperity to our country.
Then to add more insult to injury, the figures who are highlighted in our history remain the same. Dr. King, Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks are a few of the recycled iconic figures that we are given in our classrooms and in the media. Even though they are great representations of our people, there are more than those three individuals who have made a difference in our history. W.E.B DuBois, Madame CJ Walker, and many others could be used;however, we are limited to our three.
My dad used to tell me that Black History Month was every month. At the time I thought nothing of his statement, being a 12 year old who was focused on boys and entering middle school. As the years passed;however, I began to understand what he meant. He was saying what I am now trying to covey, that we are more than a month we are 365 days.
More should be done in our education systems to resolve this disservice to not only our children but also also everyone else. Maybe showing that we have a deeper knowledge of our heritage will show the rest of the nation that we care and they should as well. Showing solidarity in a movement as important as this one is imperative to the future of African Americans. If we do not then we can just consider February to be our only month forever.