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Understanding the Reason for Celebrating Black History Month By Robin Carter

Believe it, or not this celebration has been a negative subject from other races including blacks as well. Some believe that it is not fair to recognize an entire month to a particular group of people. Others agree that we should celebrate Black history throughout the entire year as one month is not merely enough. They suggest that the whole year should be celebrated opposed to devoting just the month of February while the other eleven months go lacking. Nevertheless, what harm is done in devoting an entire season to remembering those who have paved the way to open doors in our nation’s history?

Carter G. Woodson (December 19, 1875 – April 3, 1950) was an author, educator, journalist and historian known as the Father of Black history. In February 1926, he established Negro History Week which took place the second week of February to coincide with the birth dates of Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. Woodson understood that while American history was being taught in schools, the role of his own people in American history was ignored or misrepresented among scholars. This issue became a concern to him, and he dedicated his career to the field of African American History.

Icons such as Woodson and so many others deserve the credit and the right to be honored for the pain and sufferings they encountered for the sake of racial equality. Not to mention that we are still subject daily to unfair stereotypes and assumptions from a culture that is in some aspects, still learning to accept us. It seems that it’s all too often that the most negative aspects of African American culture and their communities get highlighted while the good sometimes goes unnoticed.

During the Martin Luther King Luncheon this year, the master of ceremony, Garry Moore, mentioned something that has echoed in my thoughts. He stated that we celebrate Black History once a month, which is the month of February when we should celebrate it throughout the entire year and each Friday, should be “Black Friday.” I assumed he meant support and recognition should be an “all-time thing” among us.

During the month of February let’s take a moment of silence to remember the stories of the past individuals while commemorating their achievements. In celebrating Black History month, we can embrace the opportunity to honor our heroes and the accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of their endeavors throughout our history.