Making the case for Black History as American History


Rachel Barnes, Staff writer

Every year, many schools across the country requires students to take a history class. History class teaches students about the history and events of the past that lead up to today and helped get us where we are today. Along with this, every year in the month of February we celebrate something called “Black History Month.”

Black history month is celebrated to remember the lives of fallen activists and black leaders who fought for black people to get where we are today. (Or in other words, the history of African American people.) 

As we learn about black history every year around the same time, it seems that it is the only time where we really dig deep and get into the history of African American People and their struggles. Should we have to talk about it every single day? No, but should we talk about it more than we do, yes.  Another thing with this is that along with it not being discussed enough, every time around, the same African American leaders are talked about, leading it for us to only learn about one particular time period, when there are dozens of others that go unspoken of. 

For example, Martin Luther King Jr. tends to be one of the most talked about out of all o the other hundreds of activists and leaders who all fought for the same thing, equality for black people. This being a problem because as POC, we would like to learn to more about our history and our ancestors. Also, it leads us as students, more so as students of color to be left uneducated and clueless about our own roots and heritage because of the broken education system.  

This also leads us to having to scramble and piece together more information on our own time or from our older family members. as for us, we only know so much such as segregation, and police brutality that currently still effects many POC today. (meanwhile, there is still much more to it.) 

The history of African American people runs all the way back to the 17th– 18th century beginning with slavery. Slavery, being one of the most horrendous events to have ever existed, lasted from 1619-1865 including many years prior before being introduced in the U.S, leaving slavery to have existed for about around 400 years. There is also blackface as to where POC were mocked and made fun of because of the color of their skin. 

Growing up and being black in America can be really hard and can sometimes leave you feeling lost. Looking around and seeing everyone know about their heritage and feeling connected to their roots, is very discouraging considering that we don’t really know so much about ours.  Also, looking around and seeing on the news how people of the same color is being treated not as equal as others can also take a toll on us as people of color as well. 

As for this being said, yes, it is indeed mandatory that teachers begin to teach us more about where we come from and more about our culture as much as they continue to talk about the world war and the great depression. This is only going to benefit our black students into growing into more knowledgeable and aware young women and men. 

In conclusion, by saying this, it is not so that we separate each culture from one another, but again, so that more of us people of color are more educated and are able to feel more connected to one another.