The Case for Black History Month

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What is history?

History is the story of human interactions that is told from different perspectives.

Why is it important?

History helps shed light on the development and sustainment of different political and social, including religious, systems. It contextualizes power, privilege and political thought.

Is history universal?

Every person and group has a history-story. How those stories get interpreted and documented depends largely upon who (which person or group) has the power or influence, to posit and perpetuate their interpretation of events.

Is history a series of facts?

History may contain facts, things that are indisputable.  However, history also contains information that is not fact-based or facts that are skewed to fit the narrative the transmitters want to preserve and perpetuate.  Every group disseminates its history, whether through oral or written (including visual) traditions.

Who possess the power to perpetuate a view of history?

The stories/ histories, that get perpetuated do so because purveyors of those histories possess the resources, strong desire, and they seize opportunities to shape and promote their stories.  Those stories help explain subjectively why things are as they are.

Why the need for Black History Month?

From a very young age, Americans are exposed, via oral, written and visual mediums and through a systematic study of European history, to European cultures and to European contributions to the development of American culture.

Eurocentric American history includes the telling of stories about dynamic and diverse European cultures. It identifies long standing alliances and conflicts among and between Europeans of different ethnicities and nationalities. It also describes the hardships suffered by those Europeans that first travelled to and settled in America.

It makes perfectly good sense that European Americans documented their experiences to account for how they came to possess and control the land that is now the United States of America. It also makes sense that some Americans of European descent might oppose the telling of American history from a Black American perspective. However, there is nothing logical about Black Americans opposing a month set aside to ensure the systematic study of Black American History in its entirety, and not just as a footnote in American history told largely from a Eurocentric perspective.

What are the consequences of abolishing Black History Month?

If Black History Month is abolished the story of Black Americans will be minimized or reduced largely to caricatures (stereotypes) created by the dominate culture, including by Blacks who benefit economically, socially and or politically from promoting the misrepresentations of Back culture.




4 thoughts on “The Case for Black History Month

  1. I agree totally. The importance of people telling their own history /story from their own unique experience is what gives meaning to the continuity of their past with the present and the future.

  2. I think that with out history, there will be a loss in culture. & without culture a race will die out & disappear.

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