The Centurion

This is the History Of Black History Month

Tyler Seale, Centurion Staff

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In the month of February each year, African-American history is celebrated in the U.S. in an effort to observe the history of African Americans.
The ASALH.org states that Black History Month actually began as Black History Week in 1926 as a result of its founder, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, forming what would become the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, (ASALH).
Dr. Woodson is cited stating, “We are going back to that beautiful history and it is going to inspire us to greater achievements.” This passion for the history of his people would also drive Woodson to promote that the observance of black history should never be restricted by a measurement of time, and suggested that schools use Black History Week to demonstrate what students learned all year.
Dr. Priscilla Rice, dean of Kinesiology and Sports Studies at Bucks, shares Dr. Woodson’s insights as she stated, “The month benefits the community because it celebrates the contributions that African Americans have made to this country, which many seem unaware of.”
Dr. Rice continued these insights by suggesting that black history and other strategies, such as inclusiveness and diversity trainings, should be a daily part of school. This concept would extend the celebration in February to all year long like other cultures. It also helps identify people’s ignorance towards other cultures in an effort to build and improve understanding between each other.
Black History Month can act as a great opportunity for uninformed people to grow away from habits or behaviors that are rooted in ignorance. Learning to appreciate the month while understanding that the activism that fuels it never stops is important.
Dr. Rice expanded on this by stating how African Americans celebrate Black History Month everyday as their children need to be taught their history when it is often overlooked and ignored. African American youth need to be able to see and know about their historical role models and leaders in different fields of education the same way other races can.
The month can also show to be a useful way to address issues African American communities still face today. History Professor at Bucks, John Petito, cited systemic racism as a main issue seen in examples, such as African Americans with an MBA being paid less than their white counterparts of equal qualifications.
The Chicago Tribune exemplifies this as it states, “By 2015, MBAs who were underrepresented minorities-meaning black, Hispanic, or American Indian-earned $150,000, while white and Asian MBAs made $172,000.”
Other directly life-threatening issues such as police brutality are prevalent today. This abuse of power creates a situation where an individual’s race can dictate the life they are able to live.
Dr. Rice stated, “African American Youth have to be taught to survive in the world they live in.” For example, a white child can often be absorbed in their own thoughts while doing something as harmless as taking a walk while an African American child cannot do the same, as they must be aware that the people meant to protect them may be guided by a state of mind that will only harm them.
Black History Month can help lead individuals of all races to understand the split perceptions on the reality of living as an African American person in the U.S. in both the past and present.

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The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College
This is the History Of Black History Month