For decades February has been recognized as Black History Month. As a child, I can remember heavily learning about successful black people and the roles they played in society. I also remember doing a lot of activities and crafts related to those successful black leaders. Over the years, I feel like I have been seeing Black History Month celebrated less and less. It has gotten to the point where I have heard younger children not even knowing who people like Malcolm X, Madam C.J. Walker, George Washington Carver, etc. Not only is it being celebrated less in schools, but it seems like people just associate February with Valentine's Day. Because of this, I question, "Where did Black History Month go?".
I can remember last year I saw someone make a bulletin board for the month of February, and it was called "February Fun Facts." I thought it was just going to be some interesting facts related to events that have happened in February. Once the board was finished, there were only images and facts of black people.
At that point, I was a little disturbed. Not only was it not directly celebrating black history, but it was categorizing it as February fun facts. I couldn't help but feel like I as an African American woman was being disrespected by feeling like black history was a bad thing that couldn't be named directly.
I can go into any store right now and find some Valentine candy, teddy bears, flowers, and gifts. When I go into a clothing store, I can't even find a shirt to wear that specifically celebrates Black History Month.
I know that some people may feel like dedicating an entire month to black history may cause separation between races, problematic, etc. The thing is that I look forward to this time of the year because, for a long time, it was the only time I could ever see and hear about people that looked like me. During the year and in classrooms, all I ever hear about are white male presidents, business leaders, etc. I am not saying that information is not important because it is. While sometimes being the only person of color in most of my classes, it just helps to be able to learn about someone that I can actually relate to. If I can never hear about successful black people, then how can I know that I can be successful too?
I can only assume that people are starting to no longer care about Black History Month as much. If that's the case, then where will it be in the coming years? Will it even be acknowledged?