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Why Black History Month Matters

 

February has finally made its way and that means that Black History Month is now in full effect. Not only is Black History Month a celebration of the richness of Black culture and how it has paved the way for Black people today and tomorrow, but it also celebrates how Black people have and can overcome struggles. Every day is an addition to what this month is meant to celebrate. 

 

Black History Month, also known as African American History Month, started as a celebration that only lasted for a week in the 1960s. To be more specific, it was called Negro History Week and started by scholar-activist Carter G. Woodson. Eventually, with the continued efforts of the civil rights movement and the increasing acknowledgment of Black history in several colleges across the country. 

In 1976, President Ford recognized Black History Month telling the American people to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Barack Obama waving at a desk while on the phone
Photo by History in HD from Unsplash

Black History Month is the time to recognize the stories and untold history of the comings of Black people. If we are going, to be honest, the education system does not teach much about Black History. It is usually us going to do the research ourselves about what Black History really is. 

For a lot of us, in school Black History was learning about slaves picking cotton, fighting on whether slavery was wrong or not, Abraham Lincoln freeing the slaves, Rosa Parks MAYBE, Dr. King’s ‘I Had a Dream’ speech, the civil rights moment, and then later down the line Obama became the first Black President, and it was in that exact order. There was nothing more and nothing less than just those things, but what about what was in between? 

Photo by The New York Public Library

This month is a chance for the real and raw information to be revealed. This is the chance to celebrate those who paved the way to go to college and be the first-black “insert whatever you like” and fight for your dream. Black History Month is to not only teach the little black boys and girls but also the adults that Black History at its root is strong and powerful. This month teaches us that we are strong and powerful and that we can continue to pave the way for our generation for years to come. 

This month use every day to learn something new pertaining to black culture whether that may be supporting a new black-owned business, watching movies or tv shows by black directors, or reading a book about what it means to be a Black person in America. 

Honestly, these are all things you should be doing regardless of if it is Black History Month or not. 

Jasmin Small

Valdosta '23

Hey ladies!! I am a student Valdosta State University. (Class of 2023 WHOOP WHOOP) I major in journalism and minor in mass media. I'm a pretty fun person to be around (at least I hope that I am).
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