The Significance of Black History Month Feature

   Black History Month is an annual celebration of the achievements of significant black figures in history, recognized during the month of February. Around the world, black culture is celebrated through family traditions, studying history, and more rituals to appreciate the culture. This special month was officially recognized by president Gerald Ford in 1976. This month evolved from Negro History week, which was chosen to be celebrated during the second week of February, coinciding with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas. The establishment of Black History Month encouraged communities nationwide to organize celebrations, history clubs, and put on performances. Black History Month is a prideful and celebratory month for not only those of the culture, but for all nationalities to recognize the impact of these remarkable black influencers. 

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Photo Creds to Kansas State Department of Education

   Black History Month has a different meaning to everyone around the world. To Ryan Wandey (12), he considers it an extremely important month because it “gives America the awareness that us black people don’t generally get.” Almost everyone has learned about of Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, and Muhammad Ali, and this is the month to appreciate their contributions to America and the rest of the world. However, many haven’t heard of Paul Bogle, William Cuffey, Madam C.J. Walker, and Daniel Hale Williams. These less common names contributed just as the prominent ones, and that is what Black History month is for. In school, students are only taught about the significant black leaders during the civil rights movement, although black people achieved far more than gaining themselves equal rights. “A lot of people get to learn about the first black person to do this, the first black person to do that… things that not many people know,” explained Ryan. Thomas Mundy Peteron, the first black person to vote. Nat King Cole, the first black entertainer to air on their own TV show.  Earl Lloyd, the first black NBA player. In the past, black people had heavily restricted rights, even after they were liberated from slavery, and that is why “firsts” had such a significant meaning – they remained African Americans of all the amazing thing they are able to achieve, no matter what challenges they face as a race.

 

   To Aaron Gray (11), Black History Month is about “telling the story of African American people, because that’s a story that’s typically ignored, and you don’t usually hear about it in school.” Black History Month is to learn about the noteworthy figures that most schools don’t teach. “It is important that we have a whole month because often our history units in school tend to be very Eurocentric,” said Sydney Wilson (10). 

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Photo Creds to The Bibliography

For example, Aaron looks up to Malcolm X. During the civil rights movement, advocated for black empowerment, but contradicted Martin Luther King Jr’s ideologies. Malcolm X believed that African Americans during this time period were to keep themselves safe by any means necessary, even if it meant violence. He fought against racial integration, which was a complete alternative to Martin Luther King Jr’s vision. Malcolm X contributed a great amount to the spread of black nationalism, leaving a long lasting impact on America and the rest of the world.

 

 

 

   

   Black History Month is an empowering and essential month of celebration. It teaches people of all races around the world of inventions and achievements of African Americans in the past, as well as telling some of their stories that are typically ignored.