America needs Black history

Maggie Eubanks

February is not just the month of love. It is also a month to spotlight Black history.

Every February since 1976, America has celebrated Black History Month to recognize and uplift African Americans and their accomplishments. 

According to the History Channel, the idea for Black History Month was started by Carter G. Woodson to pay homage to the achievements of African Americans and to reflect on the intellect of people of color. The month of February was selected by Woodson because it is the birth month of former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and activist Frederick Douglass.

Black History Month is a time for Black people in this country to celebrate their skin without any attack. And white people should sit down, be quiet and let them. We should not try to attack Black people for claiming their history. According to The Baltimore Sun, some state governments, backed by parents, are trying to write bills that would stop education about Black history. They believe it will cause white children in schools to feel bad about their race.

Here’s the problem— history should not make you feel bad for being white, but it should not make you proud to be white either. It should cause you to recognize the mistakes of your ancestors and want to fix them. I am not saying that white people cannot feel proud of their ancestry or family traditions, but whiteness in and of itself does not have a culture to celebrate. 

It is evident from the writings of Black activist James Baldwin that African Americans in this country have a shared culture from the injustices they have suffered. 

Black history should be celebrated and uplifted. It should be taught every month, but having a month set aside specifically for Black people allows everyone to learn something new and different. 

This country has oppressed African Americans for too long, and for 11 months of the year it seems like the only thing on the news about African Americans is crime, imprisonment and police brutality. 

But Black History Month gives recognition to writers like Langston Hughes, W.E.B DuBois and Maya Angelou. Inventors like Garrett  Morgan, Lewis Latimer and Mark Dean are celebrated for their accomplishments. Activists like Malcolm X, Medgar Evers and Ida B. Wells are remembered. 

Black History Month is a time for everyone to celebrate the elaborate and diverse history of African Americans. And as Dr. Carter Woodson said, “Black history is American history.”