Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Is Black History Month Still Needed?

Is Black History Month Still Needed?

Author: Jason Henry

The month of February is synonymous with Black History. During this time period we will see countless commercials embedded with Martin Luther King Jr. quotes and photos of legendary African-American athletes and African-American "firsts" such as Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball. While it is always good to see the images of great black Americans, it also makes me wonder if this 28 day celebration of African-American culture is needed. As Morgan Freeman once said, "Why must the history of my people be delegated to one month?" As our population continues to become more diverse in nature and we celebrate the differences in American culture, the question must be raised. Is there still a need for Black History Month?

Dr. Carter G. Woodson is the originator of Black History Week. This gentleman is responsible for brining the history of African-American's to the national forefront. As this celebration grew from a week into a month, some wondered when this month would eventually grow and become a permanent stitch of the fabric of American history. The textbooks that our children are taught out of often have only a chapter or two in reference to the history of these great Americans. Far too many citizens of this nation are unaware of the contributions that black people have made to the United States, African-Americans included. Simply knowing the history of African-American "rock stars" like Martin Luther King, Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, Malcolm X, and Jessie Owens is not enough to warrant knowing the entire history of black culture.

We are often fed the timeless video of MLK (Martin Luther King) giving his "I have a dream speech" during the march on Washington as a catalyst to ring in the celebration of our illustrious history. Reasons like this are why this month is still needed. While my love and admiration for the great Dr. are rooted in his struggle and love for this own people, he is not the only representation that we have for black history. The Reverend Joseph Lowery of Atlanta is a prolific speaker and was an ambitious foot soldier during the turbulent times of the Civil Rights movement. He is credited with being a co-founder of the historic Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King Jr. His work along with that of Ralph David Abernathy, Medgar Evers, Fred Shuttlesworth, and Bayard Rustin are why African-Americans have a solid footing in American culture today. Too many Americans are unaware of their sacrifices, let alone names, to realize the impact they have on American society. These reasons alone are why Black History Month is still required.
The 2008 Presidential race serves as mirror of today's American society. 40 years ago when Reverend King was assassinated the thought of having a female and an African-American run for President was far fetched and un-attainable. This very moment is what Dr. King fought for, equality. If the past is any indication as to where our society is headed, we have a bright and hazy future to look forward to.

Poll most Americans concerning the matter of Black History and the majority of them are able to give validity as to why Black History month is no longer needed. The greater part of our population is full aware of the contributions that black people have made to American culture. From hip-hop music, to sports, education, finance and politics, African-Americans have all played an essential role in each field. This information is slowly being integrated into American history books and historian text. While African-Americans still struggle to make headway in certain industries, it's tough to ignore the contributions that black people have made to American culture. In an era with 24 hour news stations and information that can be accessed via the internet at any time of the day, one has no excuse to avoid the history of African-Americans.

Removing the tag of Black History Month from February may be a bit premature. There is still work that needs to be done to integrate African-American History into American History via textbooks and any other information source. Still the argument holds true merit. Once the day arrives where we are truly able to say the month is no longer needed because the subject is discussed in the same breath as American history, we will all be able to celebrate as one voice with one tone.

-JH

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/article-marketing-articles/is-black-history-month-still-needed-335799.html

About the Author

Jason Henry started writing a few years ago with the angle of \"sparking positive debate through writing.\" To enhance his writing skills and share his writing with the world, he started his own newsletter entitled \"The Henry Project.\" A by product of the newsletter is his blog with the same name. Mr. Henry continues to provide his opinion on a number of issues facing America today. You can check out his blog at aanw.blogspot.com.

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