Home / Spring 2016 / 2016-02-04 / Black History Month is here to stay

Black History Month is here to stay

With Maya Angelou on the screen, Sara Barielles sings "Smile" during the memorium during the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live in Los Angeles on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

It’s February, the one month of the year where African Americans are able to celebrate their culture and history. Unfortunately, it’s the only time of the year that public schools focus on black history in the classroom.

It’s unfortunate that throughout history the only topics students are taught about black Americans is the civil rights movement and a kid-friendly version of slavery. Most people know about Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King but do they know about Maya Angelou, Thurgood Marshall, or Sojourner Truth?

Black History Month is extremely important. It is about celebrating people in history who have contributed and overcome many obstacles; people who just happen to be black.

It’s about embracing, coming together, and educating others on the past individuals who have paved the way for African Americans. It’s about educating young minds on the history of the United States, not just what textbooks in elementary school taught them. Every month celebrating a cause, movement, race, gender and religion is important.

Recently, actress Stacey Dash made a comment saying we should get rid of black history month, award shows, and any other activities that celebrate only black culture. This comment lit a fire throughout the internet. There were even comments on creating a White History month.

The typical answer that follows “why is there no white history month?” is “because every month is white history month.”

There’s no need to celebrate a white history month because the majority of information taught in schools is about white history. There are  other cultures that make up the United States that need to be celebrated as well.

The Spectator staff believes both ideas of getting rid of Black History Month and adding a White History Month are ridiculous.

It should not  feel like a crime to celebrate certain months of the year that are dedicated to minorities, races and other cultures. Our concern is that people have something to say about Black History Month, but say nothing about the other various months in the year dedicated to minorities. For example, during National Hispanic Heritage Month, or National American Indian Heritage Month, there doesn’t seem to be a problem.

It is important to not only honor groups and minorities during certain times of the year, but to honor and remember all history, all year long. We are a melting pot filled with many different cultures, why can’t we embrace them all?

The need to have days or months dedicated to certain groups will eventually cease when we actually have equality for all. Until cops stop killing black kids in the street. Until there are less minorities in prison for petty crimes. Until minorities are not discriminated and treated as criminals and degenerates. Until discrimination becomes taboo.

Until then and only then, people should be able to celebrate their culture anyway they see fit.



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