For one month out of a 12-month calendar year, the African American Community comes together to celebrate more than 400 years of achievements and strides made by our ancestors. In my youth, since I was so disconnected from my history, I felt like it was fitting for my people to learn of our rich and sordid pasts. I can remember being in the 9th grade getting upset that we no longer celebrated Black History month like we did in elementary and middle school. My friends and I would cause a ruckus when we did not hear of the great contributions of the people that fought for our civil liberties as African- Americans to be in desegregated classrooms and diners.
As I grew and began to learn of my ancestors, I began to question my motives.
My first question was: How can we fit 400+ years of achievements into a 28-day month without missing some great details?
My second inquiry was: Why is this one month the only month that my culture comes together to celebrate each other?
The second inquiry was the most pressing. For one month, there is minimal fights, thefts and deaths that take place in the urban community but the other eleven are saturated with hate and fatalities. For one month my community is more loving and gracious for each other but as soon as March 1st arrives we are back to our same shenanigans of self-hate and community degradation.
Why can’t we celebrate our ancestors all year round? If our pride and love is only offered for a limited time, how will we move forward to accomplish more goals? Do we celebrate Black History month because we need to be reminded that we were more in unison with each other when we were enslaved?
I think that it would behoove us as a society to begin to embrace each other every day of the year to create a new foundation of honor and respect for one another. Until we begin the process of daily encouragement and education we will continue to be forced to look upon our former glory as we forfeit the potential of having a brilliant latter that our children and grandchildren can look upon and embrace.
*Images found on http://www.google.com