Black history month was set aside for African-Americans to celebrate their culture and history, but when I analyze the month, it appears to me to be the most uncelebrated cultural commemoration during the year. Some people may have chosen to not be educated on black history; however, most high schools around America do not teach black history. They may do small things like mention Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver, and Martin Luther King Jr., but they fail to talk about Malcolm X, Henry P. Newton, or other African-American activists that stood up for what they believed in. Teachers seem to dance around black history, but love to go in depth about how they should be proud to be American. They love to talk about George Washington, Abraham Lincoln (who by the way only freed slaves in the North), and Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence, into their lessons. They only educate us as far back as slavery, and do not go back into the history where African-Americans were kings and queens.
According to a recent poll found in a political science textbook entitled “We The People,” Americans only want their children to know of the great things that happen in America and not the short comings. This is absolutely ridiculous that Americans want this, because it deprives other ethnic groups from knowing their own history. Americans do not want their children to know about slavery, and the brutality that blacks have undergone. Why try to hide things like this from African-Americans in classrooms? The ending result will only hurt them in the end, by not educating them about their race; if you do not know where you come from, you will never know where you are going. If African-Americans are uneducated about their past, they will not have pride in who they are, and will not have anything to look back on and appreciate where they have come from, as well as no determination to pull together and make a change. Then when analyzed, was that the purpose for not educating African Americans in the first place?
I do not see why African-Americans were granted a whole month out of a year, when they do not even appreciate it. Not to sound sarcastic but the only day that African-Americans celebrate during black history month is Valentine’s Day. They can tell you the date, how much they spent, and what they bought, but when you ask them something related to black history, you will hear the same stories about some of the same people. Why are they so uneducated about African-American history? The answer is because they wait for people to teach us. Just because they are uneducated in the school system does not mean that they cannot educate themselves; that is where African-Americans tend to be ignorant. They do not want to go beyond what these little school systems have taught them. They want to sit around and complain that America does not treat them right by giving them the shortest month of the year. But what do they do with that month? Nothing. Others like to say that America does not care for the African American race, but why should America care about people that do not care about themselves or their history? It is well known that America knows its history all the way back to Plymouth Rock, so why don’t African Americans?
African Americans need to get off all of this negativity, and start lifting each other up. They need to look into their past and see that America would be nothing without slaves. America’s economy was built off the hard labor and sweat of the back of slaves, which is a fact that cannot be proven wrong. Their culture and everything they stand for make them a wonderful ethnic group, with such a rich past that needs to be embraced by its people. People of African descent have not only made a big influence on America, but also Latin America. Lots of Latin American traditions such as food, dance, and music are highly influenced by African culture.
This February I encourage you to make a difference in my perspective of black history month, and go out and celebrate African-Americans’ rich past. Go and attend the next Black Student Board meeting and overflow the room, continue to pick up the Nubian Message and leave the boxes empty, lift up and support your fellow African-American people and friends.