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It’s Black-ish History Month

%22The+month+of+February++is+Black+History+Month.+The+shortest+month+of+the+year+rolls+around%2C+and+nothing.+Why+isn%E2%80%99t+there+a+day%2C+just+a+day%2C+to+talk+about+black+history+during+the+month+of+February%2C+to+acknowledge+the+amazing+things+black+people+have+done+for+our+country%3F%22+%0A--Valerie+Msafiri

"The month of February is Black History Month. The shortest month of the year rolls around, and nothing. Why isn’t there a day, just a day, to talk about black history during the month of February, to acknowledge the amazing things black people have done for our country?" --Valerie Msafiri

Liz Harkins

Liz Harkins

"The month of February is Black History Month. The shortest month of the year rolls around, and nothing. Why isn’t there a day, just a day, to talk about black history during the month of February, to acknowledge the amazing things black people have done for our country?" --Valerie Msafiri

Valerie Msafiri, journalism student

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Everything has a history. Things so simple such as the ticking of a clock, a red light in traffic, flickering light bulbs, or even the crunch of a potato chip; things that we take advantage of, not knowing who, what, or how it came to be. In 1753, Benjamin Banneker invented America’s first-ever clock. Garrett A. Morgan invented the traffic signal, and thank God for George Crum because without him, we wouldn’t have potato chips.

What do all those people have in common other than their undeserving non recognition: they’re all African Americans who’ve taken part in black history. The list of African Americans could go on and on and on. George Alcorn, Fredrick Jones, Dr. Shirley Jackson, Valerie Thomas, John Thompson, Otis Boykin, Dr. Mark Dean, and George Washington Carver, but just because the average person knows who the inventor of peanut butter is, does not mean that all the others should get to go unknown.

Sorry, but if anyone wanted to talk about white history, they’re more than welcome to enter any history class, at any given time because in all reality, everyday is ‘white history month’. ”

— Valerie Msafiri, freshman

In 1926, Carter G. Woodson thought the same thing and created Negro History Week and in 1976, the month of February turned into Black History Month. Problem solved, right? That’s great! Well, the shortest month of the year rolls around, and nothing. Why isn’t there a day, just a day, to talk about black history during the month of February, to acknowledge the amazing things black people have done for our country.

Former president, Gerald Ford, said himself that America needs to, “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history”, and he wasn’t wrong. Even during years upon years of oppression, African Americans continued to strive for the better; even while living in a world run by a system crafted against them, black people have courageously endured. Everyday objects, things no one thinks about while using, are proofs of the hard work African Americans in our past have suffered through, but it’s ridiculous that the United States has an entire month dedicated to celebrate black history only to never have an official discussion on it.

The only thing that is guaranteed during Black History Month is white people on Twitter claiming:

“Black History Month is hypocritical”

“Black History Month isn’t needed anymore”

“Why isn’t there a white history month?” (a personal favorite of mine.)

Sorry, but if anyone wanted to talk about white history, they’re more than welcome to enter any history class, at any given time because in all reality, everyday is ‘white history month’. The term racism is so misused these days. Racism is the prejudice and discrimination directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. White people have never, ever been discriminated against. There’s nothing hypocritical about facts. Black History Month is the celebration and the honoring of a people who continued to build a country that didn’t even consider them equal. Yes, segregation was in the past, but racism in itself has not ended. With the term “Nigger” still being thrown around and in cases of police brutality, Black History Month is just as important today as it was a 100 years ago.

There’s no real controversy involved in Black History Month, none that are rightly supported anyway. Black history has shaped this nation in every way possible; not only was America built on the backs of slaves, but African Americans have made a lasting impact on American progression and culture. Don’t stay silent and watch as the school system fails to accurately portray Black History Month. Speak out and ask questions.

Here, I’ll start.

Asking four white teenagers about the impacts of Martin Luther King Jr., is not what Black History Month is about, so can we please make Black History Month about black people?

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It’s Black-ish History Month