Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Lessons Of Black History Month

It seems as if every year black people struggle with how to honor Black History Month. At the very least, we feel an obligation to acknowledge it. What to actually do during the month, and who specifically should be honored, are another issue - one that I will address in this blog entry.

Started in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, the purpose of Black History Month is to draw attention to the contributions (to society) of black Americans who are overlooked, ignored, and suppressed by the writers of history text books and the teachers who used them.

Most black people don't really know (sufficiently) their own history, and those who do are often enlightened through word of mouth, self-education, or specially designed college courses in African American studies. My knowledge was obtained through all of the above. 

As an educator and parent it's my feeling that Black History Month should be about more than the mere illumination of the contributions by blacks, it should be about understanding the unique challenges that successful blacks have faced, and the vicarious learning that can result from the sharing of their stories for future generations use to build their own success.

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