I grew up in Brooklyn where the culture is very diverse and for the most part accepting of all cultures. During black history month I always learned about the standard African Americans throughout history that made a difference in American history. I remember heavily focusing on the Harlem Renaissance and it seemed as though for many years I had to pick someone who was relevant through this time and write reports on them. It honestly wasn’t until the end of high school and college that I started to learn about other people. And now throughout my adult years I am learning even more that was never taught to me in school.
Now as an adult I have learned that there are other months dedicated to other cultures. March is Irish American Heritage month. May is Asian Pacific American Heritage month and Jewish American Heritage month. September is Hispanic-Latino Heritage month and October is Italian American Heritage month. I point all this out to say I never overly celebrated any of these cultures’ history throughout school. It was acknowledged through my history classes as it was relevant to the US, but it was never as big as African American History month. So, my question is in 2022 is it still necessary and relevant to celebrate African American history?
We are currently living through the digital age where everything is accessible to your fingertips through our phones. If anyone wanted to learn more about African American history, they could just look it up or even take classes to become more educated on the topic. Recently I have seen many discussions through social media on whether or not Black History Month should still be celebrated. I really don’t have a personal opinion I can see pros and cons to this. I love learning about my culture and the contributions we have made throughout history in the face of adversity. But now it seems as though news outlets and media are trying to drive the narrative of racism into all of us and further perpetuate division.
My children will grow up knowing their history and culture because they learned it from their family. Not because it they got it from school or the media. They will value themselves and their ancestors because its apart of their family life. Italians, Jews, Greeks, Asians etc. don’t need their culture and history to be overly celebrated by other cultures in order for them to remember and celebrate themselves. They are taught from young to have pride in their culture and history.
I implore all black people to do the same. Learning starts at home and so does changing the way we feel and celebrate ourselves.
However, if you happen to stumble across this blog post let me know your opinion on the matter. All comments are welcome. Really there is no wrong or right answer. We can all learn from each other and expand our perspectives based on all opinions.