Feb·ru·ar·y. Noun. [Feb-yoo-air-ree]
The second, shortest and coldest month of the year, the leap year month every four years, my birthday month, and above all, Black History Month. These are just some of the reasons why I look forward to February every year. My favorite thing of course about the whole entire month is in fact, the acknowledgement of black history. Although it is essential to acknowledge black history every month, I admire the essence of this particular month. While many people cannot appreciate the entity of minimizing black history to only one month and placing a label on such an epic point in history, it really is just about perception. How you choose to look at Black History Month and what you choose to take from it is all in your own favor. You may feel like acknowledging black history for only one month will never do anything for African Americans but there are many other ways to look at it.
In an effort to get people aware of black history in itself, especially people of color, Black History Month is certainly a great start. I say people of color especially because many African Americans fail to understand their own history. The education system is designed to teach a fixated amount about black history from elementary through high school. Students really do not have a choice but to learn what teachers decide to teach or not teach until college. College is where students are free to take up courses focused on only black history but even still, many colleges do not offer these classes. Without an effort to gain knowledge for yourself outside of school, many people are left in the dark unknowingly and sleep. February can allow people to get inspired to learn, research, ask questions and stay woke. It helps people, if they choose to educate themselves. It was such a disappointment to see that the President of the United States, where about 13% of people are African American, did not know that Frederick Douglass, an iconic man in black history, has been dead for over 100 years. Or even if he choose to make a joke about “how he is doing great work these days”, the ignorance is astounding. To help people educate themselves on what has happened in all aspects of American history is so important.
Social Media, schools, newspapers, magazines and even my own neighborhood helps to shine light on black history month. Everyday, ABC news takes a moment to honor this month, showing an achievement or a powerful person in black history. Many people on social media sites continue to share pictures and videos everyday of a different person of importance in black history. Schools organize shows and events to educate people and in my very own neighborhood, residents are organizing events to honor Black History Month.
Often times, people say that history repeats itself and if we don’t know our history, we’re doomed to repeat it. In all actuality, while most people are blind to what is happening around us, history has already started to repeat itself and people who do not know the history of before, can never understand the history we’re making now. Black History Month helps to enlighten everyone about powerful individuals who fought for their freedom, iconic moments that helped to change history and influential men and women who rose above all odds. It is such a great feeling to know that those people are recognized in any way possible and that people can learn from them for times to come.