Black History is more than 28 days

February 10, 2008

Black history is about more than the past; it is about present day and the future which we create.

There is a running joke within the Black community about Black history month that; again, we received the short end of the stick since February usually has only 28 days.

This is based on the assumption that Black History Month was given to us by some omnipotent figure, known as the “man,” who handed out this menial token of recognition.

Some may find some pride that we recieved an extra day thanks to leap year (and the man). But, Black History Month is more than just 28 (or 29) days.

Black History Month has come far from its humble beginnings to become a time of cultural celebration, education and community service (as well as a magnet for token-corporate sponsorship opportunities).

Originally started as “Negro History Week” in 1926, Harvard educated scholar, Carter G. Woodson, hoped to eliminate prejudicial segregation and racism by educating whites with a more accurate depiction of Black people.

Woodson, who founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History in 1915, to train black historians, selected the second week of February in honor of Frederick Douglas’ birthday.

There are still many inequities in our society today which stem from the unequal founding of this country.
Soon after, Woodson was overwhelmed with curriculum requests. Woodson is often called the “father of black history month,” and when it became nationally recognized in 1976, it became his legacy.

There are still many inequities in our society today which stem from the unequal founding of this country.

Malcolm X said, “Of all our studies, history is best qualified to reward our research.”

Black history is about more than the past; it is about present day and the future which we create.

Celebrate Black History Month by learning your history. Everyone should learn more about Black history, not just Black people.

Black history month isn’t just about education; it is about action.
People who have recently come to this country should learn about the civil rights movement and how Blacks advocated for the rights they enjoy today.

Black history month isn’t just about education; it is about action. Get involved on your campus, your community. By the way, it’s called “Black Liberation Month” at Laney.

Reginald “Brother Reggie” James is Defender Editor. Email him at reggiegeneral@yahoo.com.

*Parts of this column were originally published published in the Laney Tower in
Spring 2006.


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Back to Laney Defender's Spring 2008 issue.

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