Established by Carter G. Woodson in the year 1926, Black Month History is a period on the American calendar that serves to commemorate and celebrate the works and input of African-Americans in developing the nation. Black History Month is celebrated during the month of February. During this period, all Americans irrespective of their races or ethnic backgrounds are required to study the untold history, lives, and contribution of African Americans to the world of civilization. The month is aimed at bringing to book the history of success and victory that was once untold. Before 1926, great African Americans were never included in the Nation’s school books. They would only be mentioned when referring to slavery. Among those celebrated during this month include those who fought against slavery and the oppression of Jim Crow, novelists, scientific minds, poets, inventors, musicians and all those who have helped develop the nation (The U.S Congress 6099). The Black History Month is among the greatest developments of the 20th century as it helps all Americans celebrate the success of African Americans, which were once not recognized as part of American History.
The Black History Month ought to have been established as it did as it helps to recognize the achievements and contributions of great African Americans who helped shape the country. It is important to note that before the founding of this month, American history only revolved around the Antebellum South and the period of slavery. However, it failed to point out several African Americans who largely contributed to the present American society. The truth is that prominent African Americans were never included in American History books. For this reason, only a few Americans knew about great minds (African Americans). The introduction of the Black History Month, therefore, helped to recognize such minds as George Washington, Fredrick, Mary Bethune, and Langston Hughes. In addition to the few prominent leaders that are known worldwide, celebrating Black History in the month of February helps Americans identify several other African Americans that achieved great success in American History. For instance, people are able to know people like C.J. Walker, who established her own company in 1867 and became the first woman millionaire; Garret A. Morgan, who invented the gas mask and traffic indicator light; Otis Boykins, the inventor of important electronics used in computers; Dr. Patricia Bath, the pioneer of eye surgery and the inventor of more than 400 products, George Washington Carver (OCDE 2). From these and several other examples, it is evident that the founding of the Black History month was important as all Americans are able to recognize and celebrate great African Americans who initially were left out in record books.
The celebration also serves to make Americans understand that not only did African Americans become great through fighting against slavery but also through their involvement in other developmental sectors such as science, education, entertainment, health among others. Moreover, the celebration confirms the importance of the contributions of African Americans development and heritage of the nation. From the beginning, America only recognized a few individuals who fought for freedom from slavery and oppression. It also recognized those who helped it to attain independence. Examples of such people include George Washington, Fredrick Douglas, among others Carver (OCDE 2). However, the commemorations of Black History enables Americans to understand the contribution of African Americans in several other sectors. For example, Rev John Henry, Barbara Jordan, Lee Brown who took part in several activities in different sectors of development in the US. These are people no one knew before, and their contributions were never recognized. However, Black History Month has enabled their names to be brought to books. During this period, Americans are able to honor those who fought for the freedom of the country including Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Dubos, Rosa Parks, W.E.B and Harriet Tubman (The U.S Congress 6099). Therefore, it is evident that Woodson carter did the right thing to establish the commemoration of these important people in American history.
Furthermore, commemorating the great African Americans and their contribution to society is important to children in schools as it enables us to understand the contributions of great people to the growth of the nation. Since the founding of the Black History Month, school children’s curriculum was also expanded to include the history of prominent African Americans, their names and stories. Children are also taught the contributions of these people in shaping the nation. This is important as the children need to understand the importance of African Americans in American society. Moreover, African American children need to study the lives of these people in order to understand their ethnic backgrounds. By commemorating African Americans through during the Black History month, and including this in the school curricula, the children are able to understand what their ancestors including African Americans went through to see the country of America where it is now.
By commemorating, children are able to comprehend the importance of the freedom they enjoy at the moment. Moreover, Black History is of significance as it helps teach children the value that African Americans have on the history of the nation. For instance, studying the civil rights movement that was steered by African Americans helps children have knowledge of who fought for the opportunities and rights of all people of the nation. Although the movement did not yield success, studying it helps children the hope that everyone who seeks for freedom can be granted as stated in the constitution. Thus, they are able to treat their fellow children from the African American community with respect which in return reduces the level of racial discrimination. Thus, it was right for the month to be established as helped children understand their history, the contributions of their ancestors towards shaping the current nation, and the sacrifices the ancestors went through to fight for the freedom of the country. Through the commemoration, America preserves detailed history for the sake of future generations.
Generally, it is paramount that people should pay attention to Black History Month as contributes to racial literacy. Racially literate Americans have a wide understanding of the races found in America. Most importantly, studying the lives and achievements of African Americans during the Black History Month helps them understand and appreciate the works and contributions of African Americans towards the civilization of America. They are able to understand various prominent leaders and other individuals from the African American community who contributed to the development of America. For instance, they will know such people as freedom fighters, inventors, doctors, engineers among others. When Caucasians study this, they are in a position to practice racial justice and avoid racial discrimination (King 8).
Therefore, Black History Month is a period when people have the opportunity to devise ways of practicing justice in institutions as well as in their daily lives. It is a tie when teachers, doctors, engineers, lawyers, and other professions can put in place strategies to create an environment where citizens from all races including African Americans can thrive. It is a time where people, especially teachers need to develop awareness of African American contributions in American history for them to teach their students the importance of racial diversity which will help reduce racial discrimination. People should also keep observing the Black History Month as a period where they reflect racial differences, biases, gaps in knowledge, relationships, and stereotypes across racial differences so as everyone may take responsibility in creating an environment that fosters social justice, equity, and inclusion.
From the discussion, one can conclude that it was right for Black History Month to established. The month has great significance to both the present and coming generations. From this month, adults, as well as children, get the opportunity to study and understand the contributions that African Americans have had in American History. This is important as it enables Americans to respect the African American community thus reducing racial discrimination. Moreover, teaching children about the stories and sacrifices of African Americans helps them learn how to treat their fellow children from other racial communities. Moreover, observing the period helps Americans to preserve the history of African Americans for future generations.
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