Do Away With Black History Month? – Part 1

This post is in reference to this===>, “Black History Month, it is time to get rid of this celebration,” 

Ah, the famous debate continues. Should we or should we not celebrate Black History Month?

I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to this question, but there are a few things I would like to dwell upon. I oftentimes  see the argument that it is time to do away with Black History Month because we should ignore someone’s race or color of their skin. Hmmm, but I wonder why? Why should we ignore this? Do you ignore the fact that someone is male or female, that they’re standing 4’9″ or 6’5″ tall, or maybe this person is limited to wheelchair usage? Why should anyone ignore any part of what makes a person who they are?

It’s not about ignoring or pretending their race or culture doesn’t exist. Real unity comes with embracing one’s differences and seeing that individual as an equal. To be able to look at someone of a different race, creed, or religion and acknowledging with acceptance of those differences is the equality Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. envisioned. My race, cultural background, gender, religion, etc all shapes me into my unique being and I would never deny or pretend those qualities didn’t exist within me. So, I don’t feel that’s the right reason for getting rid of this celebrated time.

It is also interesting that there is always a debate around Black History Month. Many other cultures are recognized each month: Jewish, Asian, Hispanic, Irish, Italian, etc. Yet, there is a continued and feverish debate around Black History Month and not so much with the many other celebrated cultures. The sole purpose of these designated months is for celebration, awareness, recognition for accomplishments, and remembrance of trials and tribulations towards progressive freedom in a world where freedom has been hard to obtain for many. I don’t see the need to get rid of that celebration and recognition for any culture. I think many are also forgetting that the reason Black History Month was established is because many educational textbooks would leave out the global impact and ramifications of Black history (not just Black American history).

Now, should culture appreciation start and begin with a selected month? Of course not. However, I don’t see the harm in using that time to focus on a selected cultural background. One thing I do know, if you take away one’s cultural month, then you take away the others. They either all stay or they all go. There was a time not so long ago, when having the freedom to outwardly celebrate differing cultures in a national sense would have been deemed impossible. And even though we are still on that long road to cultural unity, the steps forward have been many.

And to be honest here, the debate whether Black History Month should or should not be celebrated is not what concerns me really. What I find more disconcerting is why anything to do with Black/African American culture is constantly surrounded by aggressive arguments, debates, and/or conspiracies? It should make us all wonder…

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  • Amy

    Instead of stupidly petitioning against Black History Month as a separate celebration commemorating Black achievement in exclusion of people from different nationalities, races and cultural backgrounds, why doesn’t this author Mr.Rosenfeld, who claims to be a tutor– which I’ll assume means that he is in the business of educating people– why doesn’t he become an advocate to include other races besides whites in our school’s American history books, science books, social studies books, economic books or required reading books so that Blacks wouldn’t have to feel the need to fill the blackhole left by this country’s irresponsibility in telling the whole-story rather than just His-tory.