Black History isn’t black and white

Black History isnt black and white

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Freshman audrey   Satchivi said her parents are from Africa and because of that, her family still strives to discuss their culture.

“We always make an effort to talk about the history of Africans in America,” Satchivi said.

African-Americans are the second largest non-white ethnic group in America, and Black History Month has earned some prominence. According to history.com, the holiday was originally called “Negro History Week” in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, but was changed to a month-long celebration in 1976. The month of February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

However, according to Satchivi, Black History Month could gain even broader appeal.

“I feel that Black History Month is not extremely popular, but it is rising in popularity,” she said. “I remember that there was a Scholastic for Kids article on it many years ago, but apart from that, I haven’t really seen and heard very much at all regarding it. I feel like it should be promoted more because the history of African-Americans is crucial in the history of the United States.”

U.S. History teacher Kenneth Browner agrees and said it still holds a place in society, but it’s not as prominent as it can be.

“In regards of popularity, it’s probably not as popular as it used to be, especially coming off the civil rights era,” Browner said.

Sophomore Jalen Faulcon however, said he thinks Black History Month is already relatively popular.

“Black History Month gets a decent amount of attention,” Faulcon said. “I believe if you ask most people, they would know what you are talking about and when it is, due to news coverage and social media.”

Still, according to Faulcon, while black history is widely recognized, it is celebrated less than it could be.

“Our family does not do anything to celebrate Black History Month particularly, but the city where my parents grew up has a community center that has an event during Black History Month. Some organizations also hold celebrations in cities across America for Black History Month.”

Browner said he also participates in activities with his church during Black History Month.

“We do some of the celebrations with our church, whether it’s just going in and doing some sort of educational piece to it. I’ll go and teach some African-American history course or something of that nature or just bringing recognition to African American figures throughout history,” Browner said.

Faulcon said Black History Month is an important holiday due to the diversity of America, and it allows America to remember and honor the past.

“Black History Month is important to America so that we do not forget how people of African ethnicities were discriminated during slavery and segregation and so we do not go back to the same level of prejudice that used to be present in America during these times,” Faulcon said.

Browner said the most important thing is that America just needs to celebrate its cultural diversity.

“America wasn’t just formed via one culture. I mean, America is a melting pot of cultures, and what people fail to realize is just about every month is slated for some sort of cultural recognition so it’s not like there’s a preferential treatment for African American history. I mean it’s far from it, and so I think people need to get away from that thought process,” Browner said.

Satchivi agreed that Black History Month is an important holiday due to the diversity of America.

“The history of Africans in America goes back very far,” she said. “The majority of Africans were taken here as slaves, but their culture came here freely. The cultural importance of Black History Month adds to the importance of all-American history.”

Browner said America is inundated with white culture everyday and we need to celebrate with more diversity.

“We see (white culture) so much that we’re surrounded by it everyday. We’re not surrounded by other cultures everyday other than the physical presence of them… so that’s why I think there’s a place for recognizing the cultural diversity of America,” Browner said.

Black History Month has been celebrated every February and will continue to celebrate the accomplishments and struggles of African Americans throughout history.

Satchivi said, “I think acknowledging the history of all Americans, whatever their race, is highly important. America is the ‘melting pot’ of all races, ethnicities and cultures. All the different people in America make the country great, and the history behind them makes the country thrive in culture, ideas, and traditions.”

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