What Black History Month Means To Me


Oriane Dancler, Reporter

Everyone has a different definition of Black History Month. Some will say that it is the only month they hear about black history or a month to appreciate black history. This month is important not only to me but to fellow African-Americans.

The first Black History month recorded was only 1 week. Carter G. Woodson, a son of former slaves, set out a press release in 1926 to install a black history week in the United States. This week was established in February during the birthdays of Fedrick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. He chose this time on purpose, in order to help remember their legacy and illustrate how both men helped the black community. Throughout his life, Woodson continued to teach black history in schools. Black history week was then expanded to a month in the 1970s and was first recognized by President Gerald Ford in 1975. Black History Month has been recognized by every president since Ford. February was chosen for this great holiday because of the same reasons Woodson chose it. 

Many presidents have declared that the definition of Black History Month is to seize the opportunity to honor the accomplishments of African-Americans throughout history. But why aren’t African-American accomplishments always praised? My issue with Black History Month is that most people treat it as the one opportunity to learn about black history but every day is an opportunity to learn and understand black history. Black history is simply American history. The disenfranchisement of black people in the world should be taught throughout every month of the school year. 

Black history month to me is the time to understand and learn about the history of systematic racism that was established in this country and still continues to this day. This month (and every other month) should be celebrating black culture in American society. Black History Month should be dedicated to celebrating black inventors that never received credit for their work. It should celebrate the trends and fads the black community has started and were stolen and rebranded.  Most importantly, Black History Month should be dedicated to teaching more about African-American history than just about MLK or Rosa Parks. African Americans are not given the credit they deserve when it comes to considering how this country was built and where it stands today. Every culture deserves credit for what they did to help build this country. History should not leave out bits and pieces of people’s contributions to our country. Everyone, especially people of color deserves recognition for their accomplishments. Systematic oppression in our country has hurt many cultures and their history deserves to be learned. The history of every culture is what has made our country. In short, this month in particular is about celebrating every achievement African-Americans and POC have done for our country.