What’s wrong with Black History Month?

It’s that time of year again. You know, that time. February is back and we all know what that means! Well, some of us do. No I’m not talking about Groundhog Day or Valentine’s Day or the fact that it’s a leap year. Black History Month is here, and unfortunately for Stacey Dash, this month of celebration is here to stay. So what exactly do you know about black history besides slavery, Malcolm X and how to hit the dougie? Probably not much, which is why I’m here to provide you with four ways you’ve been doing Black History Month all wrong.

/ dclibrary.org

/ dclibrary.org

It’s not JUST for Black People
Black history is everyone’s history. Not only has it heavily influenced the foundation of the systems and institutions we are living under today, as effects of years of slavery and segregation, but black history has many aspects of greatness as well. It is vital that we don’t forget to focus on the contributions that people within the black community have made and continue to make. From music, to television, to sports and literature, you name it, we’ve done it. We are a community full of inventors who thrive on creativity and uniqueness. We are extraordinary in so many ways and we always have been.

It doesn’t end in February
Black History Month is not an excuse to neglect challenges and successes within the black community every other month. These acknowledgments should not just be restricted to February, but should be ongoing conversations throughout the year. Many would argue that Black History Month is problematic due to the fact that its importance cannot be limited to a certain amount of time. However, as much as black history is such a large part of world history, that doesn’t mean it is not special in itself. We have such an incredibly unique history, so as a result, recognizing the importance of our existence is necessary to do.

Every other Month is White History Month
Now, I get it, talking about white privilege isn’t something that anyone wants to ever do, but it needs to be addressed, so I promise to keep it short and sweet. White people: when we say black lives matter, we aren’t saying yours don’t, we’re saying yours always have. Implementing a White History Month would be like acknowledging the fact that the earth is round. Contributions by white people are what many of us have already been taught; not only from our education, but from various media sources as well, which is why we use this month as a time to spread awareness on what our systems have continuously failed to recognize.

It Won’t Stop!
It is incredibly frustrating to know that when many people think of Black history all that comes to mind is slavery. We have existed in this world long before we were smothered with injustices, and our brilliance needs to stop going unnoticed. Racism does not define our history, it is part of our history.

Black history did not end when slavery was abolished. The enriching history of black people has not-and will not come to an end. As a community we are constantly contributing new ideas, learning new things and overcoming new obstacles.

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Black history is so much more than struggle and years of oppression; Black history is centuries of outstanding accomplishments and a community that has the ability to exude strength and resilience even in the hardest of times. Celebrate Black History Month this year at Brock with groups such as Young, Black and Educated, BUGA, Brock’s East African Student Association and Roots! These groups have put together a number of events and would love to see support from fellow Badgers!

Black history is alive and well, and so are we. Take this month as an opportunity to spread awareness and appreciation to the many influential figures within the black community throughout the years, as well as those who continue to demonstrate black excellence today! Ladies and gentlemen, Black History Month is now in session.

LYDIA COLLINS

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