Black History Month

Black+History+Month+is+a+month+of+reflection+on+the+vast+contributions+African-American+culture+has+made+on+the+growth+and+prosperity+of+our+country.+
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Black History Month

Black History Month is a month of reflection on the vast contributions African-American culture has made on the growth and prosperity of our country.

Black History Month is a month of reflection on the vast contributions African-American culture has made on the growth and prosperity of our country.

Photo by Alison Mckeough

Black History Month is a month of reflection on the vast contributions African-American culture has made on the growth and prosperity of our country.

Photo by Alison Mckeough

Photo by Alison Mckeough

Black History Month is a month of reflection on the vast contributions African-American culture has made on the growth and prosperity of our country.

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Black History Month is here and it is more important than ever. Against this backdrop, Black History Month in 2019 takes on acute importance; this anniversary is a sharp reminder that African American history cannot and must not be euphemized.

It seems now more than ever, many have forgotten the true purpose behind this important month and why we celebrate it. Black History Month is more than just a time to appreciate great people like Martin Luther King Jr, and Ruby Bridges; In Carter G. Woodson’s words, it’s a reminder that, “truth cannot be denied and that reason will prevail over prejudice”.

In the 1920s, Carter G. Woodson hoped to raise awareness of African American’s contributions to civilization. As a result, he founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), and announced the first Negro History Week in 1925. The response during this time to the event was incredible: Black history clubs sprang up; teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils; and progressive whites, stepped forward to support the effort. By the time of Woodson’s death in 1950, Negro History Week had become a main part of African American life. Huge progress had been made in bringing more Americans to appreciate the celebration. The Black Awakening in the 1960s substantially expanded the minds of African Americans about the importance of their black history. The Civil Rights movement sparked with the new lit pride many of these brave people had. The movement focused on Americans of all color and the contributions African Americans made to our history and culture.

In 1976, the celebration was expanded to a month when President Gerald R. Ford encouraged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” By this time, the entire nation had come to recognize the importance of Black history in the drama of the American story.

This year, in 2019, Black History Month is more than just a celebration. In the tumultuous times we live in now, it teaches us to take in a more accurate and complete view of what an American is. History must be taught and learned if we are to heal racial prejudice and division. There can be no unity without truth. That truth begins by taking a brutally honest examination of our national and personal history.

Black History Month is relevant now than ever, precisely because of its insistence on presenting an unvarnished look at American history. Whether people choose to listen or purposefully ignore that message lies entirely up to them. But, the unity and future of American Life depends on taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture. Black Lives mattered in 1619, yet they were shut out from the lives they deserved. Black lives matter in 2019, and people are still fighting for what it is right. This is why it is so important that we take a moment to appreciate what they have done and will do in continuing to build the American Story.

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