Should Black History Month still be a thing if no one cares?
February 21, 2017
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Black History Month happens every February in the U.S., but honestly, it is typically forgotten about or ignored.
In my opinion, it is a great idea to set apart time to honor black Americans that have contributed so much to this society, despite their ancestors most likely doing manual labor on a plantation under the ownership of a white man.
As an Afro-Argentinean I have some African blood running through my veins because of my father. Even though I identify with my black ethnicity as well as my Hispanic ethnicity, every February I have that moment of realization, “Oh I forgot it is Black History Month.”
That might sound awful because the month commemorates those that made it possible for me to obtain an education and set up opportunities that I would not have had if I was the same age living in the southern U.S. in the 1950s and 1960s.
Black History Month is America’s way of apologizing for all the years of suffering that blacks were forced to endure as slaves.
Does anyone else find it ironic that February was chosen as the month to honor black Americans yet it also the shortest and coldest month? Many people in the “black community” have joked about this fact.
This holiday does not fulfill its purpose like it is supposed to.
Aside from black individuals, it seems that no one really cares about it. It makes sense that black people care about Black History Month more than other races because it is the black culture that is being recognized and celebrated. However there are even black people who do not do anything for this holiday.
Black History Month puts black people in an awkward position because there is not much that can be done to celebrate it. It should be a festive holiday because it celebrates black Americans. The only thing black people can really do to show their appreciation is by simply saying thank you and making social media posts to commemorate some of the people who have helped pave the way for black people today.
Being an active member across the different platforms of social media, there are about five to 10 people who do daily posts throughout February honoring a specific black person that has made a significant contribution to society.
Although highlighting blacks that have done so much for the advancements of blacks throughout the last 100 or more years is important, singling out blacks for a whole month is not the way to go about it.
Granted there is also Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. The U.S. is referred to as a melting pot because of the all the different cultures that makes up this country. Singling out certain cultures and races by having months set aside for them does not express the idea of cultural diversity.
Although these two months highlight two races that comprise a large number of the U.S. population, whites still account for over 70 percent of the population in the U.S. (source). Since that is the case, that means that most people in this country are not black, which means that the majority of the country could honestly care less about Black History Month.
Being half black myself, I had to find out on my own about the black culture because it was rarely ever brought up in school. I noticed that the only time central black figures were brought up in school growing up was during Black History Month in history class.
That was something that bothered me, especially in middle school, because there have been so many black people that have made major contributions to American society across multiple fields.
However many of those aforementioned blacks and people of other races rarely get mentioned in history textbooks because schools want students to know about American history which, according to almost every history book, is that Columbus founded the Americas; George Washington was the first president; and how America won its independence from the British. But what is never mentioned is how Columbus raided Indian villages through extremely violent means and that George Washington was a slave owner.
Those that are recognized during Black History Month fought for blacks today to have many more opportunities at success than just during the slave trade and the race riots, which is true today because of the simple fact that black kids are able to get the same education as white kids.
As far as attitudes toward black people, that is something that has not changed and probably will not. That is disappointing because black people that have fought for their freedom and rights just to live in this country throughout the years are pretty much getting a slap in the face.
If someone who is not black were to ask a black person about one racist encounter they have had most, if not every black person, has a particular story to tell.
Even though I have a lighter complexion, based on what I was wearing when I went into a sporting goods store, the manager assumed that I was going to steal something and asked me to check my bag at the front of the store. To make things worse, a group of three white kids wearing clothes similar to me were not asked to check their bags.
With the racist attitudes toward blacks still occurring, especially the last few years with the incidents of police brutality and “Black Lives Matter” movement, Black History Month should not even exist.
Instead, it should be more incorporated throughout our education and celebrated on a daily basis rather than just for one month. Have blacks integrated into history textbooks more so people can really learn