Black History Month
February 7, 2012
Filed under News & Features
My great-great-great grandmother was a slave. She was the maid of a household in Georgia and when she passed away at the age of 102, the local newspaper ran an article about her. When I went to my family reunion, my great aunt had a copy of this article. As I watched my family talking and having an enjoyable time, I sat and stared at the article in amazement. It was a surreal moment that nearly brought me to tears. Thanks to her courage, and her will to not give in, we were all standing together. Her sacrifices along with the millions of other slaves, enabled us to be able to socialize without fear of violence.
What does Black History Month mean to me? It’s a time to celebrate African American culture, accomplishments and great historical figures. It’s a time to celebrate the life of my grandmother, and to reflect on the pain and misery my ancestors went through. It’s a time to look back the good times, and the misfortunes. Black History Month is a time to look back and realize where we, as a race, have come from. That way we can appreciate where we are now in society.
Black History Month has been observed annually in the U.S., as well as Canada, since 1976. Black History Month first started off as Negro History Week . The concept was introduced by Carter G. Woodson who was a historian and the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Woodson’s goal was to educate the American people about African Americans’ cultural backgrounds and reputable achievements. Carter G. Woodson is considered by most to be the father of black history.
One topic that has been discussed for what feels like an eternity, is that Black History Month is celebrated on the shortest month of the year; February. It does make sense that this would be up for discussion since, there were 11 other months that could have been chosen that were more lengthy than February. To answer the critics question with another question, why are you complaining? While we have contributed a great deal to this country and the world in general, there are a bountiful amount of other races that helped mold the foundation for the U.S. and the world but they don’t have a month to celebrate. Some don’t even get the recognition they so rightfully deserve but we get an entire month. I consider us to be extremely privileged because it could have been a different race in our situation.
So back to the question from earlier, what does Black history month mean to me? It means love, its means hate, it means life, it means pain, it means pleasure, it means ignorance, it means brilliance. Black History Month is a way of keeping slaves like my great-great-great grandmother’s legacy along with black history in general alive.