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Is Black History Month History?

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Antonio Rivera
  Staff Writer

Back in elementary school, when my classmates and I would walk into class at the beginning of the day, there would always be a small passage and questions about an important black figure in history every day for the month of February.

This method used by my teachers allowed for everyone in the class, no matter what race, to be educated and informed on the great contributions black people made into country.

Due to this kind of education, I still remember the amazing contributions of many black people who are often forgotten because they may not seem important. Many people like George Washington Carver, Madame CJ Walker, Claudette Colvin, and more, have been cemented into my brain rather than just Martin Luther King Jr., and Rosa Parks.

As I have grown up, the incorporation of Black History Month in my education has grown smaller and smaller, to the point where it is completely gone.  On top of the celebration of black history month shrinking, black history isn’t talked about much when it comes to basic history courses taught at schools, whether it’s higher education, high school or middle school.

Most of the time, if someone wants to learn about black history on a deep level, they have to take an entirely different course that’s exclusively about black history.

In basic history courses taught in schools, the only time black history is taught is when it comes to slavery and the civil rights movement. It’s important that we educate ourselves about those topics, but it’s dangerous when that is all we learn about black people.

Black people have been more than just slaves and victims of racism. They’re doctors, politicians, professors, inventors, artists, and much more. When we define black history as being simply one of oppression we give the impression that black people aren’t more than slaves and victims of racism.

This is very important when it comes to educating young black children, especially in today’s America. Young black children need to learn about specific black people in history that were successful throughout America’s history.

All of today’s successful people are inspired by other people and if we are not providing young black children with role models (especially ones that look like them) then we are hindering their chances of being able to achieve success later in life.

This is why black history and Black History Month is so important and necessary.

Another important facet of Black History Month is reminding people in general that several black people have done something that impacts their lives. Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Edison did not create everything.

Black people created plenty of things, such as traffic lights, refrigerators, and elevators, to cite a few. All of which contribute to everyone’s daily life. These individuals should be given credit for it, just as much as white inventors, because black people have contributed to America just as much as their counterparts.

In a time where the amount of black history education is shrinking it is important that we find alternatives other than schools to provide information about black people. There are plenty of resources for college students and others to embrace the month’s celebration.

The are plenty of groups and organizations that bring awareness to the contributions and history of black people, especially on college campuses. There are organizations like NAACP, African Student Union, and Black Lives Matter that allow for those who want to be educated on black history to be educated.

We can also use the strength of technology that we have today as a tool to keep Black History Month alive. There are plenty of social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook that black people have used to talk and communicate about black history and talk about many of the issues that the black community has to face today.

Overall, it is important that we recognize the history of black people every day. It should happen not just in a specific month. The contributions of black people have been instrumental for such a long time, so we cannot just use one month out of the year to celebrate them.

Instead, we can use the month of February as a beacon to promote black history, and show why it is important for it to be talked about everyday in classrooms and make it a part of basic history class curriculums.

Black History Month is a source of education for so many people and it’s important that it continues to educate people. Above all else, the key is that the stories of black people matter too

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