Why do we need a Black History Month?
Whenever February hits, the same drawn-out debate gets brought up, “why do we need a Black history month?” or “why not a white history month?” Black History Month cast a spotlight on a group of people who have consistently been overlooked in every single regard. This month also gives an opportunity to learn the history of Black people that have been mistaught or completely ignored in schools.
In his article published in the Nubian Message, Kenton’s Corner: In Defense of Black History Month, Kenton Gibbs says “America doesn’t need a white history month because we experience white history throughout every day of our lives.” Gibbs points out the inaccurate history taught in schools and why we should always try to educate ourselves on what was overlooked.
The topic of how Black history is consistently overlooked is spoken about in the article What About White History Month? by Marlena Wilson. Wilson explains how Black history is really only available while pursuing higher education, “Throughout the American education system, European history dominates. That is basically the first type of history we learn. College is the only time one gets to branch out and choose classes that they feel will benefit them. Those who were not fortunate enough to receive a college education are slighted and never truly learn what they need to.” Information on Black history is not easily accessible or included in conversations surrounding history as a whole.
The Importance of Black History
Black people and culture have had a massive impact on American culture as a whole. For example, the music industry is dominated by Black artists and their influences can be seen everywhere. Cultural appropriation is rampant and yet there is no credit or praise given to the originators.
In fact, it seems that the only praise Black Americans seem to get is when they are contributing to America as a whole and even then that still leads to criticism. In the article Golden Ancestry by Deerricka Green, they discuss the importance of Black athletes in the Olympics, “Without the contribution of Black athletes, the U.S. would have suffered in one of its most successful areas — track and field. Black-Americans were a force to be reckoned with.” It is almost as if non-Black people see us as assets.
Still Making Progress
Black History is still being made today. There are still non-stop racist incidents in places that claim to be safe for Black people. In the article A Look Back at NC State’s History of Failing Black Students by Liya Tewelde you can see the blatant disregard of Black students throughout the history of NC State. So why not bring attention to this?
These issues are not just in the past or “history,” people are still demanding change to this day. The widespread Black Lives Matter protest in 2020 will one day be considered history and yet despite everyone demanding change, very little came from it. There will always be changes to be made when it comes to how Black people are treated in America and the world as a whole.
In conclusion, Black History Month allows Black people to feel seen and view their past. This is a month where the spotlight is truly on Black people and no one else, a time where people cannot speak over us. To show off. However, Black History Month is every month.
The article Why Is Black History Month So Important at a PWI? by Former Editor-in-Chief Anahzsa Jones features quotes from former members of the Nubian’s Staff about the importance of Black History Month. In the article, a quote from former Editor-in-Chief Yesenia Jones sums up the importance of Black History Month, “Black History Month is the one time of the year when spaces are created where Black Excellence, creativity, love and culture are celebrated and put into the spotlight on a campus that is normally a sea of whiteness.”