You've probably heard "I have a dream" one too many times.
February marks the time of the year where we are plagued with the four main contributors to black history: Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X. We are told by the media that their contributions to society paved the way for change or a "greater good."
Black History Month is flawed in a few ways.
For one, you cannot confine the entire history of black people to just 28 days. It's not realistic.
Second, we are not taught enough about our black ancestors in academia. You learn about MLK, Jr., for one day and that's it. That's literally it.
Black History Month also doesn't celebrate other contributors to our history and progression, especially the "rebellious" ones. You never hear about the droves of black people assassinated by the government. We're only taught that those people were "radical" and a menace to society. You never hear about Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, or Fred Hampton. These are people that essentially took society by the neck and made black people a force to be reckoned with.
Today, Black History Month is celebrated with widespread marathons of "Baby Boy" and "Friday" on BET. This month does not teach young black kids to love themselves and know their worth. As Black History Month currently stands, this "celebration" is basically saying, "If you achieve this level of success in your life, then maybe, just maybe, your life might mean something as an African-American."
If you don't act a certain way that pleases white people, you're considered an eyesore. Something deplorable. If we truly wanted to celebrate black people, we would wake up and notice the atrocities against us instead of turning a blind eye. Because ignoring does not make it go away. And staying silent says more than words could ever say.
I still don't feel seen nor appreciated as a black person.
In the future, I'd like to see the celebration of black people all year round. The recognition of black men, women, LGBTQI+, sex workers, girls, boys, and everything in between. I want them to know their importance, and how special they are. And I want it to extend past the 28-day mark.