“Both Black and White are Equally Beautiful.”
Nobody wants to be judged by size, colour, caste, etc. But looking back into the past, black people faced discrimination for many years based on their skin colour. Black History Month is an initiative that Black Leaders of History undertook.
Let’s know more about Black History Month in detail.
The origins of Black History Month
Black History Month, also known as African American History Month, is an annual observance celebrated in the United States and Canada in February.
The celebration recognises and honours African Americans’ significant contributions and achievements throughout history.
The roots of Black History Month can be traced back to 1926 when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History introduced “Negro History Week“.
The goal was to raise awareness about African Americans’ rich history and cultural heritage and to encourage a deeper understanding of their role in shaping the world.
Over time, the observance expanded to a month-long celebration and is now recognised as Black History Month.
Relation between February Month and Negro History Week
February was chosen for Negro History Week, which eventually became Black History Month because it coincided with the birthdays of two prominent figures in African American history: abolitionist and formerly enslaved person Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln.
Both of these men played significant roles in shaping the history of African Americans, and their birthdays were seen as an appropriate time to reflect on the contributions and achievements of Black people.
Carter G. Woodson, the founder of Negro History Week, chose the second week of February for the observance to coincide with the birthdays of Douglass and Lincoln. He believed that by highlighting the achievements and contributions of African Americans during this time, people would be reminded of the important role that Black people have played in shaping the world.
In 1976, the U.S. government officially recognised February as Black History Month, which has since become an annual observance in the United States and Canada. The month-long celebration allows for a more comprehensive and in-depth examination of Black history. It provides an opportunity to acknowledge the ongoing struggles and challenges that Black people face.
In short, February was chosen as Black History Month because it coincided with the birthdays of two important figures in African American history. The observance has since evolved into a month-long celebration that recognises and honours the contributions and achievements of Black people throughout history.
Black History Month and its Impact on World
Black History Month provides an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and contributions of African Americans to society.
African Americans have impacted the world from the Civil Rights Movement to the arts, sciences, and politics. Some of the most notable figures in Black history include Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Harriet Tubman, Maya Angelou, and Barack Obama, to name a few.
Black History Month is also a time to reflect on the ongoing struggles and challenges that Black people face, such as systemic racism and inequality. It serves as a reminder that despite the progress that has been made, there is still much work to be done to ensure that Black people are treated with dignity and respect.
Controversies that arose during Black History Month Establishment
Despite its noble goals, the establishment of Black History Month has not been without controversy. Some criticisms of the observance include:
- Insufficient recognition: Some people feel that Black History Month does not receive the same recognition and support as other cultural celebrations, such as Hispanic Heritage Month and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. They argue that Black history should be incorporated into the curriculum and celebrated throughout the year rather than just for one month.
- Tokenism: Critics also argue that Black History Month is often reduced to a token gesture and does not result in real changes to address racial inequalities. They feel that companies and organisations use Black History Month to show their support for diversity but do not commit to promoting equity and inclusion.
- Narrow focus: Some people believe that Black History Month focuses too narrowly on African American history and does not include the contributions and achievements of other Black communities, such as Caribbean and African immigrants.
- Eurocentric curriculum: Some argue that the curriculum taught during Black History Month is often Eurocentric and fails to acknowledge the African roots and heritage of Black people fully. They feel that the emphasis is placed on Black people’s struggles in America rather than their rich cultural heritage and traditions.
Despite these controversies, Black History Month remains an important observance that recognises the contributions and achievements of Black people throughout history.
By raising awareness and educating the public about Black history, the observance helps to promote understanding and unity and to contribute to the ongoing struggle for equality and justice for all.
Black History Month and its Celebrations
- One of the ways that people can celebrate Black History Month is by participating in events and activities organised in communities across the country.
These events often include cultural performances, lectures, and workshops highlighting African Americans’ history and achievements.
Schools and universities also often offer special classes and programs during the month to educate students about Black history.
- Another way to celebrate Black History Month is by reading books and watching documentaries that delve into African Americans’ history and cultural heritage.
This is a great way to gain a deeper understanding of Black history and to learn about the experiences and perspectives of Black people.
- Black History Month is also a time for companies and organisations to support diversity and inclusion.
Many companies offer special initiatives and events during the month, such as workshops and cultural celebrations, to raise awareness about Black history and to create a more inclusive workplace.
A commemoration of Black History Month will be held in 2023 from the 1st of February to the 1st of March.
Black History Month is an important observance that recognises and honours African Americans‘ significant contributions and achievements throughout history. It provides an opportunity to celebrate Black culture and reflect on the ongoing struggles and challenges.
Black people face and educate themselves and others about Black history. Whether participating in events, reading books, or supporting initiatives, there are many ways to celebrate Black History Month and contribute to the ongoing fight for equality and justice for all.
In various industries, including Digital Marketing, Black people have made significant contributions, and we at Propel Guru encourage them all. Our mission at Propel Guru is to create a world where equity and inclusion are the norms.
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