It’s Black History Month! Yes, I still celebrate Black History Month. This is my take on it – I would like Black History Month to go away. I would rather “black” history finally be recognized as apart of American history. My history books in high school only talked about Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. They were all great people but they only tell like 20% of the black American experience. There is a wealth of information out there and no one would know about it unless they studied on their own time. I learned more by going to the library and doing my own research than anything I ever learned in high school or college. This is a travesty.
People of Indian, Native, Latino, and Asian descent should feel the same way – all of our various cultures and heritages should get equal treatment in school but it doesn’t work that way at all. It is more interesting that white men from England get to tell the story of this country rather than the indigenous people that lived here for generations before their arrival. Think about it: what we know of “America” starts with the ideas coming the mouths of European men. Whatever they thought about the indigenous people and black slaves shaped the thoughts of this country for many generations.
My hope is that by 2020 every day can be black history just as well as European, Native, or Latino history all within the salad bowl of America. I think it is important that we all take a step in educating our generation and the next generation. The many cultures that exist in this country is what has made it what it is – there was no one group that contributed everything.
I pledge to continue to educate and I hope others do the same. In the meantime I would like to share quotes from some of my favorite black writers. The journeys of these writers (James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, Langston Hughes, Nikki Giovanni, and Maya Angelou) are what have inspired me to keep going over the years.