So, the first day of February is the Superbowl .
And I am struck by a very simple question….
What is Black History Month to me?
Black History Month was originally started as Negro History week in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, historian. Known for writing the contributions of black Americans into the national spotlight, Woodson received a Ph.D at Harvard University, founded the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History in 1915, founded the Journal of Negro History in 1916, authored of the book, “The Mis-education of the Negro”, published in 1933.
Negro History Week, was celebrated the second week in February as it contained the birth date of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Woodson died in 1950, and did not live to see Black History Month, which started at Kent State in 1970 and was signed into law by President Gerald Ford in 1976.
Black History Month sparks an annual debate about the continued usefulness and fairness of a designated month dedicated to the history of one race. Many people hold concerns about black history being delegated to a single month and the “hero worship” of some of the historical figures often recognized.
Actor, Morgan Freeman, a critic of Black History Month, said: “I don’t want a black history month. Black history is American history.” Freeman also argued that there was no White History Month, because white people did not want their history relegated to just one month.
All of this ignores a threshold question. WHAT WAS WOODSON’S RATIONALE IN CREATING NEGRO HISTORY WEEK AND DOES THAT NEED STILL EXISTS?
Black History Month exists because white supremacy and privilege supports the exclusion of all but European history. Representation in history creates pride and ownership, the exclusion of all but European history marginalizes and isolates non European citizens.
Better yet in his own words…
The truth of the matter is that every month is white history month in America. And it shouldn’t be, and as long as it is that way we have a real need for Black History month, and every other non white European citizen group history month.
It is the duty in my humble opinion of every person of African descent to make sure personally that his/her children have a true working knowledge of Africans in America.
It is the duty of every black American to make sure that every school in America include an accurate representation of Black History.
A factor of in Black Lives Matter, is Black History Matters!!
A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.