The Importance of Black History Month

The Importance of Black History Month

Lauren Hill, Associate Editor

In 1926, historian Carter G. Woodson started Negro History Week. Now, almost 95 years later, Negro History Week has evolved to Black History Month- a month observed by the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and much of Europe. So, why was Black History Month started in the first place? Should we still recognize it?

When President Gerald F. Ford formally instituted Black History Month, he created it to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Black History Month is a time to remind Americans of Black history, an important part of American history. Despite being a huge part of American history, Black history is often overlooked by schools and textbooks. In response to being asked about Black History Month, Morgan Freeman said, “I don’t want a Black History Month. Black history is American history.” Black history matters. The second we forget and do not speak up about black history, our nation’s history changes.  Without Black history, our nation would not be where it was today. Americans need to be reminded of the things that have mattered in our nation’s history through Black History Month.

While it is important that we recognize Black History Month, we must also remember that Black history should not only be celebrated during February. By recognizing Black History Month, we too often separate Black History from American History. While it is great that Black History gets to have a spotlight during February, February should not be the only time we concern ourselves with Black History. Presdon Fackrell, sophomore, said that we can best recognize Black History year-round by, “showing our respect for the Black community and their history.”

Despite only lasting four weeks, Black History Month serves a reminder that we should be commemorating Black History year-round, regardless of a holiday or an annual observance.