The original intentions behind Black History Month were honorable. It all started in September 1915 when Carter G. Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland founded an organization devoted to conducting research into the achievements of black Americans and people of other African descent and then promoting those achievements. The organization was known as the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). Today the organization is known as the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).
In 1926, the organization decided to hold a Negro History Week on the second week in February. They chose that week because of the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas. Incidentally, Lincoln was the first Republican President of the United States and it was he and other Republicans who pushed for the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery. Democrats fought the 13th Amendment and wanted to keep blacks enslaved.
The first Negro History Week moved a number of schools and cities throughout the country to hold their own black celebrations. Over the years the celebrations grew in numbers. In the 1960s the Civil Rights Movement exploded on the national scene and during that time Negro History Week expanded into Black History Month, which President Gerald Ford made official in 1976. Every president since that time has continued the proclamation of February as being Black History Month.
Some are questioning the need to continue Black History Month. Larry Copeland, a black contributor for USA Today raised this question in 2014, saying that it becoming irrelevant for many of today’s black 20-somethings. He wrote:
“But how much resonance can such recitations have for people who had the option of voting for a black candidate in their very first presidential election? A candidate who won? Twice?”
“How valuable, knowledge-wise, is a single month for youth who have practically the whole of human knowledge at their fingertips on their phones?”
“Furthermore, these African-American Millennials say they never really learned anything useful during Black History Month activities at school, and they fret that having a formal, month-long observance gives the nation a pass to ignore black history the rest of the year.”
If that’s the case, then what purpose does Black History Month have in today’s America except to help perpetuate the racial divide in our nation?
What do you think would happen if July, or any other month, was declared White History Month to celebrate the white history and contributions to America?
What do you think would happen if a group of Caucasians started an organization called the National Association for the Advancement of White People?
What do you think would happen if Caucasian members of Congress created the White Congressional Caucus?
What do you think would happen if someone created the White Entertainment Channel?
Chances are black activists would be screaming racism. Some may even file lawsuits claiming discrimination. Yet all of these things do exist for blacks and I’ve always wondered why they aren’t considered racist or discriminatory? Why is it that racism only seems to be a one-way prejudice?
So many people fail to realize that we are all descendants of Adam and Eve meaning we are all related, like it or not. We’re also all descendants of Noah and his three sons, the sole surviving family of the Genesis Flood. Everyone reading this is related to each other.
The color of our skin is just a genetic variation, much like seeing a litter of puppies or kittens with different colored fur from each other, yet they are the offspring of the same parents. How I wish everyone would realize this and put away all forms of racism and discrimination based on the color of our skin.