Why Black History Month Needs More Recognition


Study Breaks Magazine

Bella Biafore, Writer

Voter suppression, the divide between young black and white students in public schools and white supremacists making their way back into the mainstream (if they ever even left) are just a few of the reasons why the African-American community needs more support from everyone.

Throughout American history, violent and hateful acts against the African-American community have plagued the country. In our current political climate, fueled by racism and hate, the mistreatment of minorities continues to be a prevalent issue in society and one that deserves recognition.

Every February, Americans remember African-American individuals or groups who have gone great lengths to create an impact, known as Black History Month.

First recognized by the United States in 1976 under President Gerald Ford, the reason for Black History Month, in President Ford’s words, is to, “honor the too-often neglected accomplishments” of African-Americans who have helped shape our country.

Except sometimes it feels as though Black History Month isn’t recognized as much as it should be. Especially in schools, it feels as if students may celebrate the month but they don’t understand the history behind it.

According to Jason B. Allen, writer of “Black History Month is Celebrated but it Should be Taught in Schools” from EdLANTA blog said, “The representation of Blacks in America within textbooks and the media has not truly reflected our race positively. Re-defining Black history will help character development for all races. Slavery is not the only part of Black history that should be highlighted in America.”

In light of the African-American community continuing its fight against racism and working toward justice and peace, the meaning of Black History Month has evolved throughout these trying times.

One such moment was in the summer of 2013, after years of increasing police brutality reached a fever pitch with the killing of Trayvon Martin, the Black Lives Matters (BLM) movement was born. Quick to grow, BLM is now an international movement with roots founded in the struggles of the African-American community.

Similar to the Civil Rights movements of the mid-1900’s, its existence serves as both a beacon of hope for black communities and a reminder that when it comes to racial equality, the U.S has always taken one step forward and two steps backwards.

To gain a better understanding about why Black History Month needs more acknowledgment, especially in today’s society, I spoke with Junior Patrick Hall, who had a lot to say about being a part of the black community and how the month can be overlooked.

“Black History Month means so much to me. It’s really important to acknowledge the black inventions that we take for granted every single day,” said Hall. “Being a minority and seeing that we get our own month to gratify all of the beautiful things we do is amazing.”

When talking about BLM in relation to Black History Month, Hall compares the movement to an accessory of clothing to wear loud and proud.

“The Black Lives Matter movement shifted the social paradon, it’s another part of the influx to the embracing of being black. Black Lives Matter is an accessory to Black History Month–it’s a very fashionable vest that pretty much sets off the whole outfit.”

Hall mentioned that although Black History Month means a lot to him, dedicating the shortest month of the year to the African-American community seems like being kicked while they’re down.

“Black History Month, to me, is overlooked every year. We have our shining moments, but it’s the shortest month of the year. Right after February people just have more to think about,” said Hall. “We have so many things that are prevalent to culture right now and to give us the shortest month of the year is not despicable, but damn near close.”