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A Student View on Black History Month

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Black History Month is, as one would assume, a month designated to the history of black people. Originally it was the first week in February and celebrated to honor Black heroes. However, I think, one month for an entire race seems slightly unfair for everyone. There is a Filipino American Heritage Month in October, but not much else.

On one hand, the problem is, “What about other minorities? Do we give them a month?” If black people have a month we should have a month for everyone else, but we don’t and it’s highly unfair. One of the many problems is that, we have only one month dedicated to black history. Blacks have been here as long as whites, granted as slaves, but here nonetheless. As Morgan Freeman would say, “Black history is American history.” So why should we have just one month in the honor of black heroes, and not have black history along with white history? This is the most frustrating thing for me. It seems as though the idea of a month for black history is slightly racist.

Black History Month is a touchy subject, in a way it has progressed far. To understand how it came to be we have to go back to the 1900’s. It started out in 1926 when Carter Woodson went to the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. He asked them to designate a period for the celebration of African American history. They designated it Black History Week, on the second week of February, because it symbolized the birth of Fredrick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. Black History Month first expanded at Kent State University in 1970, when they celebrated Black history the whole month. Six years later, in 1976, the federal government acknowledged the expansion of Black History Week to Black History Month.

Despite this, not much black history is taught. In all the schools I’ve been to, we’ve only ever done a few activities for Black History Month. Maybe a fun fact every week, a couple videos, a book and before you know it, February is over. If you’re going to dedicate a month to Black history, at least teach more of it in the month.

Black History Month is often eclipsed by Valentine’s Day, because people are obsessed with love between each other. Also, if you’re dedicating a month, use a full month, not February. Perhaps use March, November, September, something that’s not the shortest month of the year.

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The student news site of Iowa City High School.
A Student View on Black History Month