Why is Black history viewed as a reverence of only one month? Some boast that Carter G. Woodson would be happy that it is a month since he had originally created it for one week, but I beg to differ. When Carter G. Woodson created Negro Week, his intent was to devote a week to learning something new about your history. I have had the pleasure of reading a few of Woodson’s books and his devotion to Black people learning their history is evident in his research. So, how did Black History become something of importance for one month out of the year? I believe this is due to the over glorifying of a select, hand-picked group of African Americans. Black people see the importance of Martin Luther King and Harriet Tubman everywhere during the four weeks in February and subconsciously think, “Well this is when I’m to learn of my history and these are the select people that I am supposed to learn about.” But this is not the only time. There is no specific timeframe to when someone should learn about who they are. Learning your history is an ongoing process. If you were fortunate enough to grow up with your grandmother, from your birth until her death she reveled about stories from her youth. This is because your grandmother understood that you have to hear about it more than one time to retain it. She also understood that she may only be able to tell you certain stories at certain times. Therefore we should practice the same teaching methods of grandmother; and yes, these are teaching methods. We must understand that knowing your history means knowing where you came from and not making the same mistakes. There is no possible way to reserve your history to one month and retain enough information to help you grow as a person. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Black people have been on this planet for at least three million years, so we have gone through many different situations. Without knowing the previous situation, or what happened, it would be impossible to fix it. If we have no interest in learning where we came from, our children will hold that same disinterest. We must explain that learning is not just for school. Black history month shouldn’t exist in our minds as a month to recollect our same old heroes; this should be celebrated year after year with the discovery of new heroes that we hadn’t known before. Do you research, read and learn. Never give up. Know thyself.

Advertisements